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The Inflation-Output Tradeoff: Which Type of Labor Market Rigidity Is to Be Blamed?

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  • Christian Merkl

Abstract

In the standard New Keynesian sticky price model the central bank faces no contradiction between the stabilization of inflation and the stabilization of the welfare relevant output gap after a productivity shock hits the economy. When the standard model is enhanced by real wage rigidities or labor turnover costs, an endogenous short-run inflation-output tradeoff arises. This paper compares the implications of the two labor market rigidities. It argues that economists and policymakers alike should pay more attention to labor turnover costs for the following reasons. First, a model with labor turnover costs generates impulse response functions that are more in line with the empirical evidence than those of a model with real wage rigidities. Second, labor turnover costs are the dominant source for the inflation-output tradeoff when both rigidities are present in the model. And finally, there is stronger empirical evidence for the existence of labor turnover costs than for real wage rigidities

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1495.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1495

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Keywords: monetary policy; real wage rigidity; labor turnover costs; unemployment; tradeoff;

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  1. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2004. "What Have We Learned About The Employment Effects of Severance Pay? Further Iterations of Lazear et al," GEMF Working Papers 2004-02, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
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  7. Christoffel, Kai & Linzert, Tobias, 2006. "The role of real wage rigidity and labor market frictions for unemployment and inflation dynamics," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,11, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  8. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl & Dennis Snower, 2010. "Monetary Persistence and the Labor Market: A New Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 2935, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Dedola, Luca & Neri, Stefano, 2007. "What does a technology shock do? A VAR analysis with model-based sign restrictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 512-549, March.
  10. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
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  12. Ester Faia & Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs, Workers' Heterogeneity and Optimal Monetary Policy," Kiel Working Papers 1534, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  13. Merkl, Christian & Schmitz, Tom, 2011. "Macroeconomic volatilities and the labor market: First results from the euro experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 44-60, March.
  14. Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labour Market after Reunification," CEPR Discussion Papers 5656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Mirko Abbritti; Sebastian Weber, 2008. "Labor Market Rigidities and the Business Cycle: Price vs. Quantity Restricting Institutions," IHEID Working Papers 01-2008, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Jan 2008.
  16. Guido Ascari & Christian Merkl, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the Cost of Disinflations," Kiel Working Papers 1312, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  17. Christoffel, Kai & Kuester, Keith, 2008. "Resuscitating the wage channel in models with unemployment fluctuations," Working Paper Series 0923, European Central Bank.
  18. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  19. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Price Shocks: Why are the 2000s so different from the 1970s?," Working Papers 0711, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  20. Faia, Ester, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy rules with labor market frictions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1600-1621, May.
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