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Jobless Recoveries During Financial Crises: Is Inflation the Way Out?

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  • Guillermo Calvo
  • Fabrizio Coricelli
  • Pablo Ottonello

Abstract

This paper discusses three policy tools to mitigate jobless recoveries during financial crises: inflation, real currency depreciation, and credit-recovery policies. Using a sample of financial crises in Emerging Market economies, we document that large inflationary spikes appear to help unemployment to get back to pre-crisis levels. However, the counterpart of inflation is sizably lower real wages. Hence, inflation does not prevent wage earners as a whole from getting hit by financial crises. Interestingly, neither the change in the real exchange rate nor the change in output composition (tradables/nontradables), from output peak to recovery point, displays a statistically significant relationship with inflation or jobless recovery. This suggests that currency depreciation can help reduce unemployment only insofar as it is associated with inflation, and that jobless recovery is likely due to nominal wage rigidity. The paper also shows that measures to reactivate credit flows could be beneficial to wage earners as a whole, as measured by the real wage bill.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19683.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19683

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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "Is the 2007 US Sub-prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 339-44, May.
  2. Ari Aisen & Michael Franken, 2010. "Bank Credit During the 2008 Financial Crisis," IMF Working Papers 10/47, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles and Financial Crises, 1870–2008," NBER Working Papers 15512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 3906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Davide Furceri & Lorenzo E. Bernal-Verdugo & Dominique M. Guillaume, 2012. "Crises, Labor Market Policy, and Unemployment," IMF Working Papers 12/65, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Englund, Peter, 1999. "The Swedish Banking Crisis: Roots and Consequences," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 80-97, Autumn.
  7. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  8. Olivier Blanchard, 2006. "European unemployment: the evolution of facts and ideas," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 21(45), pages 5-59, 01.
  9. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  10. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
  11. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2010. "After the fall," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 17-60.
  12. Barbosa Nelson, 2010. "Latin America: Counter-Cyclical Policy in Brazil: 2008-09," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, January.
  13. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Rudy Loo-Kung, 2012. "Optimal Holdings of International Reserves: Self-Insurance against Sudden Stop," NBER Working Papers 18219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Edward S. Knotek II & Stephen Terry, 2009. "How will unemployment fare following the recession?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-33.
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Cited by:
  1. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2013. "The Mayekawa Lecture: Puzzling over the Anatomy of Crises- Liquidity and the Veil of Finance," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 31, pages 39-64, November.

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