Nominal Wage Flexibility and Economic Performance: Evidence and Implications Across Industrial Countries
By considering the theoretical connection between labour and product markets, the paper evaluates the economic relationship of these markets within the contractual wage rigidity New Keynesian explanation of business cycles. The empirical analysis focuses on the short-run cyclical behaviour of real output, prices and wages for 19 industrial countries. Time-series and cross-sectional regressions are estimated. Cross-sectional cyclical correlations in the labour and goods markets are also evaluated across countries. Consistent with the theoretical predictions, aggregate uncertainty is an important factor in increasing the flexibility of the nominal wage in response to aggregate demand shocks. Wage flexibility accelerates price inflation and moderates the response of real output growth to aggregate demand shocks. Wage flexibility does not appear to be an important factor in differentiating the real and inflationary effects of energy price shocks across countries. Finally, aggregate uncertainty increases the responsiveness of output and price to productivity shocks. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd and the Board of Trustees of the Bulletin of Economic Research, 2006.
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Volume (Year): 58 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
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