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The Phillips Curve and NAIRU Revisited: New Estimates for Germany

  • Bernd Fitzenberger


    (Albert-Ludwigs-Uni. Freiburg)

  • Wolfgang Franz


    (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Oliver Bode


    (Statistisches Bundesamt Wiesbaden)

This paper provides new estimates of a time-varying NAIRU for Germany taking account of the structural break caused by German unification using two alternative estimators, the Kalman-Filter and the partially linearmodel. Estimating a standard Phillips curve, the sumof coefficients associated with expected inflation is far below unity, whatever measure of expected inflation rates is employed. Therefore, either the NAIRU concept is not applicable to Germany or, as it is our suggestion, one estimates the unemployment rate that is compatible with a tolerable inflation rate of say 2 percent following roughly the inflation target put forward by the European Central Bank. The estimates presented in this paper suggest that the NAIRU compatible with 2 percent inflation in Germany is currently around 7 percent if the definition of unemployment follows the concept of the ILO. In contrast to the consensus in the literature, our estimates suggest furthermore that the NAIRU inGermany has not increased since the early 1990’s.

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Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 228 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5+6 (December)
Pages: 465-496

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:228:y:2008:i:5-6:p:465-496
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  1. Akerlof, George A., 2001. "Behavioral Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Behavior," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2001-4, Nobel Prize Committee.
  2. Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Franz, Wolfgang & Gordon, Robert J, 1993. "German and American Wage and Price Dynamics: Differences and Common Themes," CEPR Discussion Papers 777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Snower, Dennis J. & Karanassou, Marika, 2002. "An Anatomy of the Phillips Curve," IZA Discussion Papers 635, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Sbordone, Argia, 1998. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Seminar Papers 653, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  6. Joseph Stiglitz, 1997. "Reflections on the Natural Rate Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 3-10, Winter.
  7. Wolfgang Franz, 2005. "Will the (German) NAIRU Please Stand Up?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 131-153, 05.
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  10. Schreiber, Sven & Wolters, Jurgen, 2007. "The long-run Phillips curve revisited: Is the NAIRU framework data-consistent?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 355-367, June.
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  13. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
  14. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & López-Salido, J David, 2001. "European Inflation Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 2684, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  16. Bernd Fitzenberger & Wolfgang Franz & Oliver Bode, 2007. "The Phillips Curve and NAIRU Revisited: New Estimates for Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1344, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  17. Thomas Laubach, 1997. "Measuring the NAIRU : evidence from seven economies," Research Working Paper 97-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  18. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Christian Schumacher, 2008. "Measuring uncertainty of the euro area NAIRU: Monte Carlo and empirical evidence for alternative confidence intervals in a state space framework," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 357-379, March.
  20. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
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  23. Timothy Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2006. "Trend inflation and inflation persistence in the New Keynesian Phillips curve," Staff Reports 270, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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