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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
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    9. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
    10. Ester Faia & Tommaso Monacelli, 2008. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Small Open Economy with Home Bias," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 721-750, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:moneco:v:88:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Philipp Kirchner & Benjamin Schwanebeck, 2017. "Optimal Unconventional Monetary Policy in the Face of Shadow Banking," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201725, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Barnett, William A. & Wang, Chan & Wang, Xue & Wu, Liyuan, 2019. "What inflation measure should a currency union target?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 123-139.
    4. Bhattarai, Saroj & Eggertsson, Gauti B. & Schoenle, Raphael, 2018. "Is increased price flexibility stabilizing? Redux," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 66-82.
    5. Roberto M. Billi & Jordi Galí, 2018. "Gains from wage flexibility and the zero lower bound," Economics Working Papers 1625, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2019.
    6. Petra Marotzke & Robert Anderton & Ana Bairrao & Clémence Berson & Peter Tóth, 2016. "Wage adjustment and employment in Europe," Discussion Papers 2016-19, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    7. Luca Fornaro & Federica Romei, 2016. "The paradox of global thrift," Economics Working Papers 1609, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2019.
    8. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Karsten Staehr & Javier Ordóñez, 2018. "Unit Labour Costs and the Dynamics of Output and Unemployment in the Southern European Crisis Countries," TUT Economic Research Series 41, Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology.
    9. Masuch, Klaus & Anderton, Robert & Setzer, Ralph & Benalal, Nicholai, 2018. "Structural policies in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 210, European Central Bank.
    10. repec:onb:oenbmp:y:2018:i:q2/18:b:7 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Andrés, Javier & Arce, Óscar & Thomas, Carlos, 2017. "Structural reforms in a debt overhang," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 15-34.
    12. repec:ris:eaerev:0347 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kobielarz, Michal, 2018. "The economics of monetary unions," Other publications TiSEM b0293536-68ec-4905-bffd-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    14. Benjamin Schwanebeck, 2017. "Unconventional Monetary Policy in a Financially Heterogeneous Monetary Union," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201741, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    15. Petroulakis, Filippos, 2017. "Internal devaluation in currency unions: the role of trade costs and taxes," Working Paper Series 2049, European Central Bank.
    16. Merkl, Christian & Stüber, Heiko, 2016. "Wage cyclicalities and labor market dynamics at the establishment level: Theory and evidence," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 12/2016, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    17. Xie, Taojun & Liu, Jingting & Alba, Joseph D. & Chia, Wai-Mun, 2017. "Does wage-inflation targeting complement foreign exchange intervention? An evaluation of a multi-target, two-instrument monetary policy framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 68-81.
    18. repec:wly:jmoncb:v:51:y:2019:i:2-3:p:455-484 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:40:y:2018:i:6:p:1200-1220 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • 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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