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Learning about wage and price mark-ups in euro area countries

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  • Angelini, Elena
  • Dieppe, Alistair
  • Pierluigi, Beatrice

Abstract

In this paper we show that higher flexibility, measured by lower wage and price mark-ups leads to reduced inflationary pressures, increase in competitiveness, and higher output. A rational expectation and a learning version of the ECB’s New Multi-Country Model are used to understand plausible dynamics of labour cost and price adjustments. In the rational expectation version of the model gains are quicker but more short-lived than in a learning environment. We argue that a rational expectation model appears appropriate to describe the abrupt wage adjustment which took place in the Baltic States. By contrast, a learning model appears better suited to capture the gradual wage adjustment of Germany during the 2000s and the one that started in Spain and Italy after the 2008-09 crisis. In fact, in view of implementation lags and the need to change institutions, in the above countries the adjustment should be expected to deliver output gains less quickly than in the Baltic States. In this paper we use the linked version of the model to evaluate the aggregate impact of the imposed shocks as well as possible spillover effects within the euro area. All in all, spillover effects are relatively small. JEL Classification: E24, E27, E30, E37, J30

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1512.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131512

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Related research

Keywords: competitiveness; nominal adjustment in a monetary union; price and wage mark-ups; rational and learning expectations; Unit labour costs;

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  1. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1997. "Is EMU more justifiable ex post than ex ante?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 753-760, April.
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  8. Dieppe, Alistair & González Pandiella, Alberto & Willman, Alpo, 2012. "The ECB's New Multi-Country Model for the euro area: NMCM — Simulated with rational expectations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2597-2614.
  9. Christopoulou, Rebekka & Vermeulen, Philip, 2008. "Markups in the euro area and the US over the period 1981-2004: a comparison of 50 sectors," Working Paper Series 0856, European Central Bank.
  10. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2007. "State-dependency and firm-level optimization: a contribution to Calvo price staggering," Working Paper Series 0806, European Central Bank.
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