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Understanding the Dynamics of Labour Shares and Inflation

  • Lawless, Martina

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

  • Whelan, Karl

    (University College Dublin)

Calvo-style models of nominal rigidities currently provide the dominant paradigm for understanding the linkages between wage and price dynamics. Recent empirical implementations stress the idea that these models link inflation to the behavior of the labour share of income. Galí, Gertler, and Lopez-Salido (2001) argue that the model explains the combination of declining inflation and labour shares in Euro area. In this paper, we show that with realistic parameters, the canonical Calvo-style model cannot explain this outcome. In addition, we show that the model fails very badly in sectoral data. We examine the elements underlying the decline in the labour share in Europe, and conclude that the key factors are related to technological and labour market developments not accounted for in the standard New-Keynesian framework.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Ireland in its series Research Technical Papers with number 4/RT/07.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:4/rt/07
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  1. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2000. "European Inflation Dynamics," Working Papers 0020, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  3. Jean Imbs & Eric Jondeau & Florian Pelgrin, 2006. "Aggregating Phillips curves," 2006 Meeting Papers 640, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1998. "Explaining Movements in the Labour Share," CEPR Discussion Papers 1958, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  6. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
  7. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Labor- And Capital-Augmenting Technical Change," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-37, 03.
  8. Nicoletta Batini & Brian Jackson & Stephen Nickell, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics and the Labour Share in the UK," Discussion Papers 02, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
  9. Caballero, R.J. & Hammour, M.L., 1997. "Jobless Growth: Appropriability, Factor-Substitution, and Unemployment," Working papers 97-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Álvarez & Hervé Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lünnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2005. "Price setting in the euro area: Some stylized facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Working Paper Research 74, National Bank of Belgium.
  11. 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.
  12. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  13. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2004. "Production, supply and factor shares: an application to estimating German long-run supply," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 191-215, March.
  15. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2007. "Modeling Inflation Dynamics: A Critical Review of Recent Research," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 155-170, 02.
  16. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
  17. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  19. Nicola GIAMMARIOLI & Julian MESSINA & Thomas STEINBERGER & Chiara STROZZI, 2002. "European Labor Share Dynamics: An Institutional Perspective," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/13, European University Institute.
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