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Supply Shocks, Wage Indexation and Monetary Accommodation

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  • Joshua Aizenman
  • Jacob A. Frenkel

Abstract

This paper develops a unified framework for the analysis of wage indexation and monetary policy in the presence of supply shocks. We first present simple formulae for the optimal wage indexation rule and for the optimal money supply rule. In order to set the stage for an evaluation of departures from the optimal policy rules we first analyse two extreme cases -- a rule that stabilizes employment and a rule that stabilizes the real wage. The analysis of these two extreme cases provides the ingredients for the evaluation of various rules for wage indexation and for monetary targeting. We examine the implications of indexing wages to (i) nominal GNP, (ii) the CPI and (iii) the value-added price index, as well as the implications of targeting the money supply to these alternative three indicators. It is shown that, the various indexation rules bear a dual relation to the various monetary targeting rules. The welfare ranking of the various rules depends on whether the elasticity of the demand for labor exceeds or falls short of the elasticity of labor supply. If the demand for labor is more elastic than the supply, then policy rules that stabilize employment produce a smaller welfare cost than policy rules that stabilize the real wage. In that case, indexing wages to nominal GNP results in a smaller welfare cost than indexing to value-added price index which, in turn, produces a smaller cost than indexation to the CPI. Because of the dual relation between monetary policy and wage indexation, it follows that under the same circumstances, monetary policy that targets nominal GNP produces a smaller welfare cost than policy that targets the value-added price index which, in turn, results in a smaller cost than the policy that targets the CPI. This ranking is reversed when the elasticity of the supply of labor exceeds the elasticity of demand.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1609.

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Date of creation: Apr 1985
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Publication status: published as Aizenman, Joshua and Jacob A. Frenkel. "Wage Indexation, Supply Shocks and Monetary Policy for a Sa mall Open Economy," Economic Adjustment and Exchange Rates in Developing Countries, edited by S. Edwards and Liquat Ahamed. Chicago: UCP, 1986.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1609

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  1. Joshua Aizenman & Jacob A. Frenkel, 1984. "Optimal Wage Indexation, Foreign-Exchange Intervention and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  3. Robert J. Gordon, 1975. "Alternative Responses of Policy to External Supply Shocks," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(1), pages 183-206.
  4. Ronald E. Findlay & Carlos Alfredo Rodriguez, 1977. "Intermediate Imports and Macroeconomic Policy under Flexible Exchange Rates," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 208-17, May.
  5. Karni, Edi, 1983. "On Optimal Wage Indexation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 282-92, April.
  6. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Wage indexation and macroeconomics stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 107-147, January.
  7. Benjamin Eden, 1979. "The Nominal System : Linkage to the Quantity of Money or to Nominal Income," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 30(1), pages 121-143.
  8. Bean, Charles R, 1983. "Targeting Nominal Income: An Appraisal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 806-19, December.
  9. Blinder, Alan S, 1981. "Monetary Accommodation of Supply Shocks under Rational Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 13(4), pages 425-38, November.
  10. Nancy Peregrim Marion & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1982. "Adjustment to Expected and Unexpected Oil Price Changes," NBER Working Papers 0997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Azariadis, Costas, 1978. "Escalator clauses and the allocation of cyclical risks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 119-155, June.
  12. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  13. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1979. "On Models of Money and Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(1), pages 83-103, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Rennhack, 1991. "La Conducción de la Política Monetaria," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 28(83), pages 11-20.
  2. Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1987. "Supply Shocks and Optimal Monetary Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 20-37, March.
  3. Dale W. Henderson & Warwick J. McKibbin, 1993. "A comparison of some basic monetary policy regimes for open economies: implications of different degrees of instrument adjustment and wage persistence," International Finance Discussion Papers 458, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Fregert, Klas & Jonung, Lars, 1998. "Monetary Regimes And Endogenous Wage Contracts: Sweden 1908-1995," Working Papers 1998:3, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 21 Apr 1999.
  5. Fang, Chung-rou & Lai, Ching-chong, 2002. "Targeting nominal income versus targeting price level: A target zone perspective," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 229-249.

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