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Downward Wage Rigidities and Optimal Monetary Policy in a Monetary Union

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Abstract

This paper analyses the implications of heterogeneity in the type of downward wage rigidity (nominal or real) for optimal monetary policy in a monetary union with asymmetric wage adjustment costs. Indexation in one region of the union reduces optimal grease inflation in the presence of common productivity shocks. Large common shocks may have sizeable and persistent effects on the intra-union terms of trade, whereby the region characterized by downward real wage rigidity adjusts with a persistent loss of competitiveness. In response to asymmetric productivity shocks, there is no role for grease inflation because relative price changes facilitating the real wage changes dominate the adjustment mechanism. Copyright © The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2010 .

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  • Stephan Fahr & Frank Smets, 2010. "Downward Wage Rigidities and Optimal Monetary Policy in a Monetary Union," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 812-840, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:112:y:2010:i:4:p:812-840
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