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Understanding the Gains from Wage Flexibility: The Exchange Rate Connection

  • Jordi Galí
  • Tommaso Monacelli
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    We study the gains from increased wage flexibility and their dependence on exchange rate policy, using a small open economy model with staggered price and wage setting. Two results stand out: (i) the impact of wage adjustments on employment is smaller the more the central bank seeks to stabilize the exchange rate, and (ii) an increase in wage flexibility often reduces welfare, and more likely so in economies under an exchange rate peg or an exchange rate-focused monetary policy. Our findings call into question the common view that wage flexibility is particularly desirable in a currency union.

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    File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/746.pdf
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    Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 746.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:746
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    1. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," Departmental Working Papers 200106, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    2. Barattieri, Alessandro & Basu, Susanto & Gottschalk, Peter T., 2010. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 5039, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Raphael Schoenle & Gauti Eggertsson & Saroj Bhattarai, 2012. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing? Redux," 2012 Meeting Papers 487, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Martin Uribe & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2012. "Pegs and Pain," 2012 Meeting Papers 303, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Blanchard, Olivier J & Galí, Jordi, 2008. "Labour Markets and Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Bianca De Paoli, 2004. "Monetary Policy and Welfare in a Small Open Economy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0639, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," International Finance Discussion Papers 640, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
    9. Christopher J. Erceg & Jesper Linde, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation in an Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 186-91, May.
    10. Eggertsson, Gauti & Ferrero, Andrea & Raffo, Andrea, 2014. "Can structural reforms help Europe?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 2-22.
    11. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    12. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. "ìNew" Views on the Optimum Currency Area Theory: What is EMU Telling US?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 140, Royal Economic Society.
    13. Monacelli, Tommaso, 2004. "Into the Mussa puzzle: monetary policy regimes and the real exchange rate in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 191-217, January.
    14. Jordi Gal� & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 707-734.
    15. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
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