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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. Saroj Bhattara & Gauti Eggertsson & Raphael Schoenle, 2012. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing? Redux," Working Papers 41, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    2. De Paoli, Bianca, 2009. "Monetary policy and welfare in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 11-22, February.
    3. Alessandro Barattieri & Susanto Basu & Peter Gottschalk, 2010. "Some evidence on the importance of sticky wages," Working Papers 10-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    4. Eggertsson, Gauti & Ferrero, Andrea & Raffo, Andrea, 2014. "Can structural reforms help Europe?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 2-22.
    5. 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.
    6. Christopher J. Erceg & Jesper Lindé, 2012. "Fiscal consolidation in an open economy," International Finance Discussion Papers 1046, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. 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.).
    9. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. ""New" views on the optimum currency area theory: what is EMU telling us?," Working Paper Series 0138, European Central Bank.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2008. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New-Keynesian Model with Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Martin Uribe & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2012. "Pegs and Pain," 2012 Meeting Papers 303, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    15. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
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