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Wage growth and the inflation process: an empirical note

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  • Yash P. Mehra
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    Abstract

    A central proposition in the Phillips curve view of the inflation process is that prices are marked up over productivity-adjusted labor costs. If that is true, then long-run movements in prices and labor costs must be correlated. If long-run movements in a time series are modeled as a stochastic trend, then the above noted implication of the 'price markup' view is related to the concept of cointegration discussed in Granger (1986), which says that cointegrated multiple time series share common stochastic trends. The evidence reported here shows that time series measuring rates of change in prices and labor costs are cointegrated. Furthermore, this cointegration appears consistent with Granger-causality running from the rate of change in prices to the rate of change in labor costs, but not vice versa as suggested by the 'price markup' view.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 89-01.

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    Date of creation: 1989
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:89-01

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    Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Wages;

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    1. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
    2. Godfrey, Leslie G, 1978. "Testing for Higher Order Serial Correlation in Regression Equations When the Regressors Include Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1303-10, November.
    3. Granger, Clive W J, 1986. "Developments in the Study of Cointegrated Economic Variables," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 213-28, August.
    4. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Understanding Spurious Regressions in Econometrics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 757, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Sims, Christopher A & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1990. "Inference in Linear Time Series Models with Some Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 113-44, January.
    6. Stockton, David J & Glassman, James E, 1987. "An Evaluation of the Forecast Performance of Alternative Models of Inflation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 108-17, February.
    7. Mehra, Y P, 1977. "Money Wages, Prices, and Causality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1227-44, December.
    8. Ohanian, Lee E., 1988. "The spurious effects of unit roots on vector autoregressions : A Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 251-266, November.
    9. Engle, Robert F. & Yoo, Byung Sam, 1987. "Forecasting and testing in co-integrated systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 143-159, May.
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