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Understanding the dynamics of labor shares and inflation

  • Lawless, Martina
  • Whelan, Karl

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 labor share of income. Gali, Gertler, and Lopez-Salido (2001) argue that the model explains the combination of declining inflation and labor 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 labor share in Europe, and conclude that the key factors are related to technological and labor market developments not accounted for in the standard New-Keynesian framework. JEL Classification: E31

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0784.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070784
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  1. 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," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0528, Banco de Espa�a.
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  3. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2000. "European Inflation Dynamics," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0020, Banco de Espa�a.
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  11. Karl Whelan & Jeremy Rudd, 2005. "Modelling inflation dynamics : a critical review of recent research," Open Access publications 10197/237, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  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. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 200112, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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  15. 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.
  16. 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.).
  17. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Labor- and Capital- Augmenting Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 7544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Nicola GIAMMARIOLI & Julian MESSINA & Thomas STEINBERGER & Chiara STROZZI, 2002. "European Labor Share Dynamics: An Institutional Perspective," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/13, European University Institute.
  19. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  20. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
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