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Labor market institutions and inflation volatility in the euro area

  • Campolmi, Alessia
  • Faia, Ester

Despite having had the same currency for many years, EMU countries still have quite different inflation dynamics. In this paper we explore one possible reason: country specific labor market institutions, giving rise to different inflation volatilities. When unemployment insurance schemes differ, as they do in EMU, reservation wages react differently in each country to area-wide shocks. This implies that real marginal costs and inflation also react differently. We report evidence for EMU countries supporting the existence of a cross-country link over the cycle between labor market structures on the one side and real wages and inflation on the other. We then build a DSGE model that replicates the data evidence. The inflation volatility differentials produced by asymmetric labor markets generate welfare losses at the currency area level of approximately 0.3% of steady state consumption.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 793-812

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:35:y:2011:i:5:p:793-812
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