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The Impact of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity on the Unemployment Rate: Quantitative Evidence from Japan

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  • Kuroda, Sachiko

    (Institute for Monetary and Econ Studies, Bank of Japan)

  • Yamamoto, Isamu

    (Institute for Monetary and Econ Studies, Bank of Japan)

Abstract

To what extent does downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) raise the unemployment rate during periods of low inflation or deflation? To answer this question, we simulate the impact on the male unemployment rate in Japan, by incorporating the DNWR of full-time male employees as estimated by Kuroda and Yamamoto into the general equilibrium model of Akerlof et al. The simulation results show the following. First, the DNWR estimated by Kuroda and Yamamoto with Japanese longitudinal data from 1993-98 has a minor impact on the unemployment rate compared with the case of perfect DNWR. Nevertheless, this impact is not trivial in the sense that it raises the unemployment rate by as much as 1.8 percentage points under the baseline parameters adopted in this paper. Second regarding the relationship with the rate of inflation, DNWR does not cause unemployment as long as the inflation rate is approximately 2.4 percent or higher whereas its effects tend to increase gradually as the inflation rate falls below 2.4 percent. When inflation is below approximately 1 percent, however, the marginal increase in unemployment attributable to DNWR is small since DNWR is moderated by the adjustments to bonuses and extensive wage cuts observed in our Japanese data sets. Instead, under these conditions, it is the additional unemployment brought by labor market distortions that becomes the issue.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan in its journal Monetary and Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 57-85

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Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:21:y:2003:i:4:p:57-85

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Cited by:
  1. Takatoshi Ito & Frederic S. Mishkin, 2006. "Two Decades of Japanese Monetary Policy and the Deflation Problem," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy with Very Low Inflation in the Pacific Rim, NBER-EASE, Volume 15, pages 131-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Claudio Morana, 2005. "The Japanese deflation: has it had real effects? Could it have been avoided?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(12), pages 1337-1352.
  3. Takatoshi Ito, 2004. "Inflation Targeting and Japan: Why has the Bank of Japan not Adopted Inflation Targeting?," NBER Working Papers 10818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Adam S. Posen, 2010. "The Central Banker's Case for Doing More," Policy Briefs PB10-24, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  5. Hiroshi Fujiki & Howard J. Wall, 2006. "Controlling for geographic dispersion when estimating the Japanese Phillips curve," Working Papers 2006-057, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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