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Coordination, fair treatment and inflation persistence

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  • John C. Driscoll
  • Steinar Holden

Abstract

Most wage-contracting models with rational expectations fail to replicate the persistence in inflation observed in the data. We argue that coordination problems and multiple equilibria are the keys to explaining inflation persistence. We develop a wage-contracting model in which workers are concerned about being treated fairly. This model generates a continuum of equilibria (consistent with a range for the rate of unemployment), where workers want to match the wage set by other workers. If workers' expectations are based on the past behavior of wage growth, these beliefs will be self-fulfilling and thus rational. 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 percent, than outside these bounds, as predicted by our model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2003-34.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-34

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Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Wages;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Seidel, Gerald, 2005. "Fair Behavior and Inflation Persistence," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-09, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  2. Seidel, Gerald, 2005. "Endogenous Inflation - The Role of Expectations and Strategic Interaction," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-14, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. Steinar Holden, 2004. "Behavioural Macroeconomics and the Aggregate Supply Puzzle," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 30, pages 27-35.
  4. Christopher Bowdler & Luca Nunziata, 2007. "Inflation Adjustment and Labour Market Structures: Evidence from a Multi-country Study," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(3), pages 619-642, 09.

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