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How Much Inflation is Necessary to Grease the Wheels?

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  • KIM, Jinill
  • RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J.

Abstract

This paper studies Tobin's proposition that inflation "greases" the wheels of the labor market. The analysis is carried out using a simple dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with asymmetric wage adjustment costs. Optimal inflation is determined by a benevolent government that maximizes the households' welfare. The Simulated Method of Moments is used to estimate the nonlinear model based on its second-order approximation. Econometric results indicate that nominal wages are downwardly rigid and that the optimal level of grease inflation for the U.S. economy is about 1.2 percent per year, with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 0.2 to 1.6 percent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 11-2007.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:11-2007

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Keywords: Optimal inflation; asymmetric adjustment costs; nonlinear dynamics;

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References

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