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The Relative Stickiness of Wages and Prices

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  • Spencer, David E

Abstract

While many modern business cycle theories posit the existence of nominal wage and/or output price stickiness, their relative importance remains an unsettled issue. Using a structural VAR model, this paper exploits evidence on the behavior of real wages to assess the relative importance of these two sources of stickiness. The empirical results suggest that a positive shock to aggregate demand causes a significant temporary fall in real wages. This is taken as evidence that sticky wages have played a more important role than sticky prices in transmitting aggregate demand shocks to real economic activity in the postwar United States. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Spencer, David E, 1998. "The Relative Stickiness of Wages and Prices," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 120-137, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:36:y:1998:i:1:p:120-37
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    Cited by:

    1. Cervini-Plá, María & Silva, José I. & López-Villavicencio, Antonia, 2012. "Labor disruption costs and real wages cyclicality," MPRA Paper 42366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Carter, Thomas J., 2005. "Money and efficiency wages: the neglected effect of employment on efficiency," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 199-209, March.
    3. Jaromir Benes & Tibor Hledik & Michael Kumhof & David Vavra, 2005. "An Economy in Transition and DSGE: What the Czech National Bank’s New Projection Model Needs," Working Papers 2005/12, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    4. Moore, Tomoe & Pentecost, Eric J., 2006. "An investigation into the sources of fluctuation in real and nominal wage rates in eight EU countries: A structural VAR approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 357-376, June.
    5. Nicholas Apergis & Alexandros Panethimitakis, 2011. "Stylised facts of Greek business cycles: new evidence from aggregate and across regimes data," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(2), pages 147-165.
    6. Thomas J. Carter, 2005. "Monetary Policy, Efficiency Wages, and Nominal Wage Rigidities," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 349-359, Summer.
    7. repec:kap:iaecre:v:11:y:2005:i:3:p:249-255 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Chandranath Amarasekara & George J. Bratsiotis, 2012. "Monetary policy and real wage cyclicality," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(33), pages 4391-4408, November.
    9. Lastrapes, William D., 2002. "Real wages and aggregate demand shocks: contradictory evidence from VARs," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 389-413.
    10. Martin Schmidt, 2003. "The relative adjustment of wages and prices: direct tests within a multiple-equation system," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(8), pages 985-997.
    11. Steinar Holden, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Nominal Rigidities under Low Inflation," CESifo Working Paper Series 481, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Wage formation under low inflation," Memorandum 09/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    13. Holden, Helge & Holden, Lars & Holden, Steinar, 2010. "Contract adjustment under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 657-680, April.
    14. Doh-Khul Kim, 2005. "Real Wage and Nominal Shock: Evidence from Pacific-Rim Countries," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 11(3), pages 249-255, August.
    15. Bryan Perry & Kerk Phillips & David E. Spencer, 2015. "Real wages and monetary policy: a DSGE approach," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 42(5), pages 734-752, October.
    16. Bryan Perry & Kerk L Phillips & David E. Spencer, 2015. "State-Level Variation in the Real Wage Response to Monetary Policy," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 16(1), pages 1-17, May.
    17. Bryan Perry & Kerk L. Phillips & David E. Spencer, 2012. "State-Level Evidence on the Cyclicality of Real Wages," BYU Macroeconomics and Computational Laboratory Working Paper Series 2012-05, Brigham Young University, Department of Economics, BYU Macroeconomics and Computational Laboratory.
    18. Andersen, Torben M., 1999. "Nominal rigidities and the optimal rate of inflation," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/08, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).

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