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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. Blanchard, Olivier J & Galí, Jordi, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Krause, M.U. & Lubik, T.A., 2003. "The (Ir)relevance of Real Wage Rigidity in the New Keynesian Model with Search Frictions," Discussion Paper 2003-113, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2013. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 887-899.
  4. Addison, John T. & Teixeira, Paulino, 2003. "What Have We Learned About the Employment Effects of Severance Pay? Further Iterations of Lazear et al," IZA Discussion Papers 943, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Ascari, Guido & Merkl, Christian, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the Cost of Disinflations," IZA Discussion Papers 3049, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  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. Luca Dedola & Stefano Neri, 2006. "What does a technology shock do? A VAR analysis with model-based sign restrictions," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 607, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  10. Merkl, Christian & Schmitz, Tom, 2010. "Macroeconomic Volatilities and the Labor Market: First Results from the Euro Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Dennis J. Snower & Christian Merkl, 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market after Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 375-382, May.
  15. Christoffel, Kai & Linzert, Tobias, 2005. "The role of real wage rigidity and labor market frictions for unemployment and inflation dynamics," Working Paper Series 0556, European Central Bank.
  16. Christoffel, Kai & Kuester, Keith, 2008. "Resuscitating the wage channel in models with unemployment fluctuations," Working Paper Series 0923, European Central Bank.
  17. Galí, Jordi, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Blanchard, Olivier J & Galí, Jordi, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Shocks: Why are the 2000s so Different from the 1970s?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6631, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl & Ester Faia, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs, Workers’ Heterogeneity and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2009 Meeting Papers 193, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
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