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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.
    2. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2013. "Understanding the gains from wage flexibility: The exchange rate connection," Economics Working Papers 1408, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2016.
    3. Burstein, Ariel & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2007. "Modeling exchange rate passthrough after large devaluations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 346-368, March.
    4. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2016. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity, Currency Pegs, and Involuntary Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(5), pages 1466-1514.
    5. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2010. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-30, April.
    6. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
    7. Shimer, Robert, 2012. "Wage rigidities and jobless recoveries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages 65-77.
    8. De Long, James Bradford & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1031-1044, December.
    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.
    11. 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.
    12. Warne, Anders & Coenen, Günter & Christoffel, Kai, 2008. "The new area-wide model of the euro area: a micro-founded open-economy model for forecasting and policy analysis," Working Paper Series 944, European Central Bank.
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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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