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Jobless Recoveries during Financial Crises: Is Inflation the Way Out

  • Guillermo Calvo
  • Fabrizio Coricelli
  • Pablo Otonello

This paper discusses three policy tools to mitigate jobless recoveries during financial crises: inflation, real currency depreciation, and credit-recovery policies. Using a sample of financial crises in Emerging Market economies, we document that large inflationary spikes appear to help unemployment to get back to pre-crisis levels. However, the counterpart of inflation is sizably lower real wages. Hence, inflation does not prevent wage earners as a whole from getting hit by financial crises. Interestingly, neither the change in the real exchange rate nor the change in output composition (tradables/nontradables), from output peak to recovery point, displays a statistically significant relationship with inflation or jobless recovery. This suggests that currency depreciation can help reduce unemployment only insofar as it is associated with inflation, and that jobless recovery is likely due to nominal wage rigidity. The paper also shows that measures to reactivate credit flows could be beneficial to wage earners as a whole, as measured by the real wage bill.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 711.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:711
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  1. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles, and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1029-61, April.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," NBER Working Papers 13761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward S. Knotek II & Stephen Terry, 2009. "How will unemployment fare following the recession?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-33.
  4. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," Working papers 592, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2010. "After the fall," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 17-60.
  6. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Englund, Peter, 1999. "The Swedish Banking Crisis: Roots and Consequences," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 80-97, Autumn.
  8. Ari Aisen & Michael Franken, 2010. "Bank Credit During the 2008 Financial Crisis; A Cross-Country Comparison," IMF Working Papers 10/47, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fear of Floating," NBER Working Papers 7993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Guillermo Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Rudy Loo-Kung, 2013. "Optimal Holdings of International Reserves: Self-insurance against Sudden Stops," Monetaria, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(1), pages 1-35, January-j.
  11. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  12. Barbosa Nelson, 2010. "Latin America: Counter-Cyclical Policy in Brazil: 2008-09," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, January.
  13. Davide Furceri & Lorenzo E. Bernal-Verdugo & Dominique M. Guillaume, 2012. "Crises, Labor Market Policy, and Unemployment," IMF Working Papers 12/65, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973, March.
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