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Fairness and Inflation Persistence

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  • John C. Driscoll

    (Federal Reserve Board,)

  • Steinar Holden

    (University of Oslo and Norges Bank,)

Abstract

We argue that peoples' concern for fairness may explain an unsolved puzzle in macroeconomics: the persistence of inflation. We extend a 1990 wage-contracting model of Bhaskar in which workers' disutility from being paid less than other workers exceeds their utility from being paid more. This model generates a continuum of equilibria over a range of wages and unemployment rates. If workers' expectations are based on the past behavior of wage growth, these beliefs will be self-fulfilling, generating inflation persistence within, but not outside of, this range. Based on quarterly U.S. data over the period 1955-2000, we find evidence that inflation is more persistent between unemployment rates of 4.7 and 6.5% than outside these bounds. (JEL: E31, E3, E5) Copyright (c) 2004 The European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 2 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
Pages: 240-251

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:2:y:2004:i:2-3:p:240-251

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Cited by:
  1. Nunziata, Luca & Bowdler, Christopher, 2005. "Inflation Adjustment and Labour Market Structures: Evidence from a Multi-Country Study," IZA Discussion Papers 1510, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Alho, Kari O. E., 2006. "Labour Market Institutions and the Effectiveness of Tax and Benefit Policies in Enchancing Employment: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Discussion Papers 1008, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  3. Christoffel, Kai & Linzert, Tobias, 2005. "The role of real wage rigidity and labor market frictions for unemployment and inflation dynamics," Working Paper Series 0556, European Central Bank.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal To Replace The New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328, November.
  5. Jenny Lye & Ian McDonald, 2008. "The Eisner Puzzle, the Unemployment Threshold and the Range of Equilibria," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 125-141, May.
  6. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2007. "Are real wages rigid downwards?," Memorandum 07/2007, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  7. Yanli LI, Hongfeng PENG & Hongfeng PENG, 2013. "Inflation Persistence in Nine Latin American Countries: Panel SURKSS Test with a Fourier Function," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 132-143, October.
  8. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Laura Mayoral, 2005. "The Persistence of Inflation in OECD Countries:a Fractionally Integrated Approach," Working Papers 259, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2009. "How strong is the macroeconomic case for downward real wage rigidity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 605-615, May.

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