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Does inflation lower productivity? Time series evidence on the impact of inflation on labor productivity in 12 OECD nations

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  • Donald Freeman
  • David Yerger

Abstract

According to proponents of zero-inflation policies, even low rates of inflation create distortions in capital allocation and in price signals, which result in lower rates of productivity growth. This paper tests the hypothesis that inflation has a causal impact (in the Granger sense) on labor productivity growth in manufacturing for 12 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In bivariate tests of inflation and productivity and in multivariate tests using controls for cyclical effects, there is no evidence of a consistent relationship between inflation and productivity growth with regard to either sign or magnitude. Therefore, the present analysis does not support the view that further reductions in inflation from already low single-digit levels would have a positive impact on labor productivity growth for major industrial countries. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2000

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  • Donald Freeman & David Yerger, 2000. "Does inflation lower productivity? Time series evidence on the impact of inflation on labor productivity in 12 OECD nations," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 28(3), pages 315-332, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:28:y:2000:i:3:p:315-332 DOI: 10.1007/BF02298324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Inflation, Tax Rules, and Investment: Some Econometric Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 243-286 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Norman Cameron & Derek Hum & Wayne Simpson, 1996. "Stylized Facts and Stylized Illusions: Inflation and Productivity Revisited," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 152-162, February.
    5. Clark, Peter K, 1982. "Inflation and the Productivity Decline," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 149-154, May.
    6. Donald Freeman & David Yerger, 1997. "Inflation and total factor productivity in Germany: A response to Smyth," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 133(1), pages 158-163, March.
    7. Argia M. Sbordone & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1994. "Does inflation reduce productivity?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-14.
    8. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "On the Interpretation of Near Random-walk Behavior in GNP," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 202-209, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Saten Kumar & Don J. Webber & Geoff Perry, 2009. "Real wages, inflation and labour productivity in Australia," Working Papers 0921, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    2. Tim Bulman & John Simon, 2003. "Productivity and Inflation," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2003-10, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Saten Kumar & Don J. Webber & Geoff Perry, 2012. "Real wages, inflation and labour productivity in Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(23), pages 2945-2954, August.
    4. Javier Pérez & A. Sánchez, 2011. "Is there a signalling role for public wages? Evidence for the euro area based on macro data," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 421-445.
    5. Javier Pérez & A. Sánchez, 2011. "Is there a signalling role for public wages? Evidence for the euro area based on macro data," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 421-445.
    6. Chaido Dritsaki, 2016. "Real wages, inflation, and labor productivity: Evidences from Bulgaria and Romania," Journal of Economic and Financial Studies (JEFS), LAR Center Press, vol. 4(5), pages 24-36, October.

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