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Inflation and Unit Labor Cost

Author

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  • Robert G. King

    () (Boston University, Department of Economics)

  • Mark W. Watson

    () (Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University)

Abstract

We study two decompositions of inflation, , motivated by a New Keynesian Pricing Equation. The first uses four components: lagged , expected future , real unit labor cost ( ), and a residual. The second uses two components: fundamental inflation (discounted expected future ) and a residual. We find large low-frequency differences between actual and fundamental inflation. From 1999-2011 fundamental inflation fell by more than 15 percentage points, while actual inflation changed little. We discuss this discrepancy in terms of the data (a large drop in labor's share of income) and through the lens of a canonical structural model (Smets-Wouters (2007)).

Suggested Citation

  • Robert G. King & Mark W. Watson, 2012. "Inflation and Unit Labor Cost," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-005, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2012-005
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. King, Robert G & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Money, Prices, Interest Rates and the Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-53, February.
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    6. Carl E. Walsh, 2010. "Monetary Theory and Policy, Third Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262013770, January.
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    8. Sbordone, Argia M., 2002. "Prices and unit labor costs: a new test of price stickiness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 265-292, March.
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    10. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 113-172.
    11. Kurmann, Andre, 2005. "Quantifying the uncertainty about the fit of a new Keynesian pricing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1119-1134, September.
    12. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1997. "Sticky price and limited participation models of money: A comparison," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1201-1249, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Gilchrist & Raphael Schoenle & Jae Sim & Egon Zakrajšek, 2017. "Inflation Dynamics during the Financial Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 785-823, March.
    2. Egorov D.A. & Perevyshina E.A., 2016. "Modelling of Inflationary Processes in Russia," Working Papers 2138, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    3. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Escaping the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1030-1058, April.
    4. repec:eee:moneco:v:92:y:2017:i:c:p:47-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mangin, Sephorah & Sedláček, Petr, 2018. "Unemployment and the labor share," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 41-59.
    6. Del Negro, Marco & Hasegawa, Raiden B. & Schorfheide, Frank, 2016. "Dynamic prediction pools: An investigation of financial frictions and forecasting performance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 192(2), pages 391-405.
    7. Leung, Charles Ka Yui & Ng, Joe Cho Yiu, 2018. "Macro Aspects of Housing," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 340, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    8. Hess Chung & Edward Herbst & Michael T. Kiley, 2015. "Effective Monetary Policy Strategies in New Keynesian Models: A Reexamination," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 289-344.
    9. Albonico, Alice & Paccagnini, Alessia & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2017. "Great recession, slow recovery and muted fiscal policies in the US," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 140-161.
    10. repec:hur:ijaraf:v:7:y:2017:i:3:p:38-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Filippo Gori, 2016. "Disentangling the Monetary Policy Stance," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 27, Bank of Lithuania.

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