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The Impact of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity on the Unemployment Rate: Quantitative Evidence from Japan

Author

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  • Kuroda, Sachiko

    (Institute for Monetary and Econ Studies, Bank of Japan)

  • Yamamoto, Isamu

    (Institute for Monetary and Econ Studies, Bank of Japan)

Abstract

To what extent does downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) raise the unemployment rate during periods of low inflation or deflation? To answer this question, we simulate the impact on the male unemployment rate in Japan, by incorporating the DNWR of full-time male employees as estimated by Kuroda and Yamamoto into the general equilibrium model of Akerlof et al. The simulation results show the following. First, the DNWR estimated by Kuroda and Yamamoto with Japanese longitudinal data from 1993-98 has a minor impact on the unemployment rate compared with the case of perfect DNWR. Nevertheless, this impact is not trivial in the sense that it raises the unemployment rate by as much as 1.8 percentage points under the baseline parameters adopted in this paper. Second regarding the relationship with the rate of inflation, DNWR does not cause unemployment as long as the inflation rate is approximately 2.4 percent or higher whereas its effects tend to increase gradually as the inflation rate falls below 2.4 percent. When inflation is below approximately 1 percent, however, the marginal increase in unemployment attributable to DNWR is small since DNWR is moderated by the adjustments to bonuses and extensive wage cuts observed in our Japanese data sets. Instead, under these conditions, it is the additional unemployment brought by labor market distortions that becomes the issue.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuroda, Sachiko & Yamamoto, Isamu, 2003. "The Impact of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity on the Unemployment Rate: Quantitative Evidence from Japan," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(4), pages 57-85, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:21:y:2003:i:4:p:57-85
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudio Morana, 2005. "The Japanese deflation: has it had real effects? Could it have been avoided?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(12), pages 1337-1352.
    2. Hiroshi Fujiki & Howard J. Wall, 2006. "Controlling for geographic dispersion when estimating the Japanese Phillips curve," Working Papers 2006-057, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. Takatoshi Ito & Frederic S. Mishkin, 2006. "Two Decades of Japanese Monetary Policy and the Deflation Problem," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy with Very Low Inflation in the Pacific Rim, NBER-EASE, Volume 15, pages 131-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Takatoshi Ito, 2004. "Inflation Targeting and Japan: Why has the Bank of Japan not Adopted Inflation Targeting?," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Simon Guttmann (ed.), The Future of Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Barno Blaes, 2008. "Ausmaß und reale Konsequenzen nach unten starrer Nominallöhne," Working Papers 048, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    6. Adam S. Posen, 2010. "The Central Banker's Case for Doing More," Policy Briefs PB10-24, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Naito, Hisahiro & Yokoyama, Izumi, 2017. "Assessing the effects of reducing standard hours: Regression discontinuity evidence from Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 59-76.
    8. Bush, Oliver & Farrant, Katie & Wright, Michelle, 2011. "Financial Stability Paper No 13: Reform of the International Monetary and Financial System," Bank of England Financial Stability Papers 13, Bank of England.
    9. Sohei Kaihatsu & Mitsuru Katagiri & Noriyuki Shiraki, 2017. "Phillips Curve and Price-Change Distribution under Declining Trend Inflation," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 17-E-5, Bank of Japan.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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