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Can Wage and Price Stickiness Account for Sizeable Costs of Business Cycle Fluctuations?

  • Matthias Paustian
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    This paper asks the following two questions: First, can a model with nominal rigidities in wage and price setting account for the average welfare costs of business cycle fluctuations identified in Gali, Gertler, and Lopez- Salido (2003)? Second, do we need to agree on a particular scheme for nominal rigidities to answer that question? We compute a quadratic approximation to agents expected lifetime utility and evaluate welfare for different modeling schemes of nominal rigidities that all have the same average duration of contracts. Calvo (1983) wage and price contracts can deliver sizeable welfare costs, but other contracts of the same average stickiness cannot. Calvo (1983) contracts can imply welfare costs that are up to 4 times higher than those implied by overlapping contracts in the spirit of Taylor (1980) or Wolman (1999). Furthermore, the sticky information framework of Mankiw and Reis (2002) may generate welfare costs that are even smaller. This paper calls for more research into the origins of wage and price stickiness.

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    File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-bonn.de/bgsepapers/bonedp/bgse18_2004.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse18_2004.

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    Length: 34
    Date of creation: Oct 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse18_2004
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
    Fax: +49 228 73 6884
    Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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    1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation stabilization and welfare: The case of a distorted steady state," Discussion Papers 0405-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    2. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler & J. David Lopez-Salido, 2001. "European Inflation Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bennett McCallum, 2001. "Software for RE Analysis," QM&RBC Codes 144, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles, revised Feb 2004.
    4. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
    5. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2007. "Markups, Gaps, and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 44-59, November.
    6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    7. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Working Paper 2007-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    9. 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.).
    10. Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," NBER Working Papers 5046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Rochelle M. Edge, 2003. "A utility-based welfare criterion in a model with endogenous capital accumulation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-66, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1987. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B, 2002. "A Note on NNS Models: Introducing Physical Capital; Avoiding Rationing," CEPR Discussion Papers 3351, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Pappa, Evi, 2004. "Do the ECB and the fed really need to cooperate? Optimal monetary policy in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 753-779, May.
    15. Michael T. Kiley, 1999. "Partial adjustment and staggered price setting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
    17. Ascari, Guido, 2003. "Staggered prices and trend inflation: some nuisances," Research Discussion Papers 27/2003, Bank of Finland.
    18. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing And The General Equilibrium Dynamics Of Money And Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
    19. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2004. "The Cost of Nominal Inertia in NNS Models," NBER Working Papers 10889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Robert Kollmann, 2002. "Monetary policy rules in the open economy: effects of welfare and business cycles," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7628, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    21. Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "Sticky prices, marginal cost, and the behavior of inflation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 29-48.
    22. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 2004. "Evaluating the Calvo Model of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 10617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 791-831, October.
    25. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
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