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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. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, J. David, 2001. "European inflation dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1237-1270.
  2. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
  3. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bentollia, S. & Saint-Paul, G., 1999. "Explaining Movements in the Labor Share," Papers 9905, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  5. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  6. 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 Papers w200506, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 199822, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  9. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2005. "Modelling inflation dynamics: a critical review of recent research," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-66, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2001. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labour Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Labor- And Capital-Augmenting Technical Change," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-37, 03.
  12. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Hammour, Mohamad L., 1998. "Jobless growth: appropriability, factor substitution, and unemployment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 51-94, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Jean Imbs & Eric Jondeau & Florian Pelgrin, 2006. "Aggregating Phillips curves," 2006 Meeting Papers 640, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  16. Nicola GIAMMARIOLI & Julian MESSINA & Thomas STEINBERGER & Chiara STROZZI, 2002. "European Labor Share Dynamics: An Institutional Perspective," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/13, European University Institute.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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