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Fiscal Consolidation in a Low-Inflation Environment: Pay Cuts versus Lost Jobs

Author

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  • Guilherme Bandeira

    (Banco de España)

  • Evi Pappa

    (European University Institute)

  • Rana Sajedi

    (Bank of England)

  • Eugenia Vella

    (University of Sheffield)

Abstract

We construct a model of a monetary union to study fiscal consolidation in the periphery of the euro area, through cuts in public-sector wages or hiring when the nominal interest rate is constrained at its lower bound. Consolidation induces a positive wealth effect that increases demand, as well as a reallocation of workers towards the private sector, which together boost private activity. However, in a low-inflation environment, demand is suppressed and the private sector is not able to absorb the additional workers. Comparing the two instruments, cuts in public hiring increase unemployment persistently in this environment, while wage cuts can reduce it. Regions with higher mobility of labor between the two sectors are able to consolidate more effectively. Price flexibility is also key at the zero lower bound: for a higher degree of price rigidity in the periphery, consolidation becomes harder to achieve. Consolidations can be self-defeating when the public good is productive.

Suggested Citation

  • Guilherme Bandeira & Evi Pappa & Rana Sajedi & Eugenia Vella, 2018. "Fiscal Consolidation in a Low-Inflation Environment: Pay Cuts versus Lost Jobs," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 14(3), pages 7-52, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2018:q:2:a:1
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    Cited by:

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    2. Moro, Alessio & Rachedi, Omar, 2018. "The Changing Structure of Government Spending," MPRA Paper 86577, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Guilherme Bandeira & Jordi Caballe & Eugenia Vella, 2019. "Fiscal Austerity and Migration: A Missing Link," Working Papers 2019009, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    4. Pascal Jacquinot & Matija Lozej & Massimiliano Pisani, 2018. "Labor Tax Reforms, Cross-Country Coordination, and the Monetary Policy Stance in the Euro Area: A Structural Model-Based Approach," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 14(3), pages 65-140, June.
    5. Alessio Moro & Omar Rachedi, 2018. "The changing structure of goverment consumption spending," Working Papers 1840, Banco de España.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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