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Understanding the Gains from Wage Flexibility: The Exchange Rate Connection

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  • Jordi Galí
  • Tommaso Monacelli

Abstract

We study the gains from increased wage flexibility using a small open economy model with staggered price and wage setting. Two results stand out: (i) the effectiveness of labor cost reductions as a means to stimulate employment is much smaller in a currency union, and (ii) an increase in wage flexibility often reduces welfare, more likely so in an economy that is part of a currency union or with an exchange-rate-focused monetary policy. Our findings call into question the common view that wage flexibility is particularly desirable in a currency union.

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  • Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2016. "Understanding the Gains from Wage Flexibility: The Exchange Rate Connection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3829-3868, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:12:p:3829-68
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20131658
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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