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The Impact of Introducing a Minimum Wageon Business Cycle Volatility

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  • International Monetary Fund

Abstract

We study the impact of a minimum wage on business cycle volatility, depending upon its coverage and adjustment mechanism. As with other small open economies, Hong Kong SAR is vulnerable to external shocks, with its exchange rate regime precluding active monetary policy. Adjustment to past shocks has relied on flexible domestic prices. We find that a minimum wage affecting 20 percent of employees would amplify output volatility by 0.2 percent to 9.2 percent, and employment volatility by ?1.2 percent to 7.8 percent. A fixed wage or indexation to consumption price inflation increases volatility most. Indexation to wage inflation or unit labor cost growth is preferable, largely preserving labor market flexibility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/285.

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Length: 54
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/285

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Related research

Keywords: Minimum wage; External shocks; Exchange rate regimes; Wage indexation; Labor market policy; Economic models; wage; inflation; wage inflation; price inflation; wages; monetary policy; terms of trade; nominal interest rate; labor income; real interest rate; rational expectations; price competitiveness; foreign exchange; real wages; wage index; monetary economics; relative prices; foreign currency; price elasticity; wage adjustments; terms of trade shock; inflation targeting; inflation targeting regime; inflation response;

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  2. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  3. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," International Finance Discussion Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 640, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
  5. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
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