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The Welfare Consequences of Monetary Policy and the Role of the Labor Market: a Tax Interpretation

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  • Federico Ravenna
  • Carl E. Walsh

Abstract

We explore the distortions in business cycle models arising from inefficiencies in price setting and in the search process matching firms to unemployed workers, and the implications of these distortions for monetary policy. To this end, we characterize the tax instruments that would implement the first best equilibrium allocations and then examine the trade-offs faced by monetary policy when tax instruments are unavailable. Our findings are that the welfare cost of search inefficiency can be large, but the incentive for policy to deviate from the inefficient flexible-price allocation is in general small. Sizable welfare gains are available if the steady state of the economy is inefficient, and these gains do not depend on the existence of an inefficient dispersion of wages. Finally, the gains from deviating from price stability are larger in economies with more volatile labor flows, as in the U.S.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1028.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1028

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Keywords: Optimal monetary policy; search inefficiency; job vacancies; unemployment;

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  1. Arseneau, David M. & Chugh, Sanjay K., 2008. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with costly wage bargaining," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1401-1414, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Thomas, Carlos, 2008. "Search and matching frictions and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 936-956, July.
  4. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
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  1. And so they did... (2)
    by Petar Sisko in Money Mischief on 2013-11-11 20:40:00

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