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Asymmetric Labor Market Institutions in the EMU and the Volatility of Inflation and Unemployment Differentials

  • MIRKO ABBRITTI
  • ANDREAS I. MUELLER

How does the asymmetry of labor market institutions affect the adjustment of a currency union to shocks? To answer this question, this paper sets up a dynamic currency union model with monopolistic competition and sticky prices, hiring frictions and real wage rigidities. In our analysis, we focus on the differentials in inflation and unemployment between countries, as they directly reflect how the currency union responds to shocks. We highlight the following three results: First, we show that it is important to distinguish between different labor market rigidities as they have opposite effects on inflation and unemployment differentials. Second, we find that asymmetries in labor market structures tend to increase the volatility of both inflation and unemployment differentials. Finally, we show that it is important to take into account the interaction between different types of labor market rigidities. Overall, our results suggest that asymmetries in labor market structures worsen the adjustment of a currency union to shocks.

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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 6 (09)
Pages: 1165-1186

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:45:y:2013:i:6:p:1165-1186
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Abbritti, Mirko & Weber, Sebastian, 2010. "Labor market institutions and the business cycle Unemployment rigidities vs. real wage rigidities," Working Paper Series 1183, European Central Bank.
  2. Pierpaolo Benigno & J. David López-Salido, 2002. "Inflation persistence and optimal monetary policy in the Euro Area," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0215, Banco de Espa�a.
  3. Carlos Thomas, 2006. "Search and matching frictions and optimal monetary policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19782, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Olivier Blanchard, 2006. "European unemployment: the evolution of facts and ideas," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(45), pages 5-59, 01.
  5. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency area," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 293-320, July.
  6. Harris Dellas & George Tavlas, 2005. "Wage Rigidity and Monetary Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 907-927, October.
  7. Carlos Thomas & Francesco Zanetti, 2008. "Labor market reform and price stability: an application to the Euro Area," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0818, Banco de Espa�a.
  8. Poilly, C. & Sahuc, J-G., 2008. "Welfare Implications of Heterogeneous Labor Markets in a Currency Area," Working papers 199, Banque de France.
  9. Michael U. Krause & Thomas A. Lubik & David López-Salido, 2008. "Inflation dynamics with search frictions : a structural econometric analysis," Working Paper 08-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  10. Smets, F. & Sahuc, J-G., 2007. "Differences in Interest Rate Policy at the ECB and the Fed: An Investigation with a Medium-Scale DSGE Model," Working papers 182, Banque de France.
  11. Zanetti, Francesco, 2011. "Labor market institutions and aggregate fluctuations in a search and matching model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 644-658, June.
  12. Michael U. Krause & David J. Lopez-Salido & Thomas Lubik, 2007. "Do Search Frictions Matter for Inflation Dynamics?," Kiel Working Papers 1353, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  13. repec:acb:camaaa:2008-06 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Campolmi, Alessia & Faia, Ester, 2011. "Labor market institutions and inflation volatility in the euro area," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 793-812, May.
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