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Do wages help predict inflation?

  • Kenneth M. Emery
  • Chih-Ping Chang
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    In the financial press, productivity-related wages are often cited as an inflation indicator. For example, recently slow rates of wage growth have been noted as a factor that will keep inflation rates low in the future. While inflation and wage growth do appear to be highly correlated over longer time periods, it is not clear whether movements in wage growth precede movements in inflation, thereby providing predictive content for future inflation. In this article, Kenneth Emery and Chih-Ping Chang examine the usefulness of wage growth as a predictor of inflation, as well as carry out a stability analysis of the relationship underlying inflation and wages. The results caution against using wage growth as a signal of future inflation in that wage growth has no information content for future inflation. Furthermore, the bivariate relationship between inflation and wage growth is shown to be unstable.

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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its journal Economic and Financial Policy Review.

    Volume (Year): (1996)
    Issue (Month): Q I ()
    Pages: 2-9

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1996:i:qi:p:2-9
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    1. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
    2. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
    3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "A simple estimator of cointegrating vectors in higher order integrated systems," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    4. Yash P. Mehra, 1993. "Unit labor costs and the price level," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 35-52.
    5. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Chong, Yock Y & Hendry, David F, 1986. "Econometric Evaluation of Linear Macro-Economic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 671-90, August.
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