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Macroeconomic implications of downward wage rigidities

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  • Fahr, Stephan
  • Abbritti, Mirko

Abstract

Growth of wages, unemployment, employment and vacancies exhibit strong asymmetries between expansionary and contractionary phases. In this paper we analyze to what degree downward wage rigidities in the bargaining process affect other variables of the economy. We introduce asymmetric wage adjustment costs in a New-Keynesian DSGE model with search and matching frictions in the labor market. We find that the presence of downward wage rigidities strongly improves the fit of the model to the skewness of variables and the relative length of expansionary and contractionary phases even when detrending the data. Due to the asymmetry, wages increase more easily in expansions, which limits vacancy posting and employment creation, similar to the flexible wage case. During contractions nominal wages decrease slowly, shifting the main burden of adjustment to employment and hours worked. The asymmetry also explains the differing transmission of positive and negative demand shocks from wages to inflation. Downward wage rigidities help explaining the asymmetric business cycle of many OECD countries where long and smooth expansions with low growth rates are followed by sharp but short recessions with large negative growth rates. JEL Classification: E31, E52, C61

Suggested Citation

  • Fahr, Stephan & Abbritti, Mirko, 2011. "Macroeconomic implications of downward wage rigidities," Working Paper Series 1321, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111321
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    Cited by:

    1. Cervini-Plá, María & Silva, José I. & López-Villavicencio, Antonia, 2012. "Labor disruption costs and real wages cyclicality," MPRA Paper 42366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Carl Grekou, 2014. "On the effectiveness of devaluations in emerging and developing countries," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-61, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    3. Wolters Maik H. & Tillmann Peter, 2015. "The changing dynamics of US inflation persistence: a quantile regression approach," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 161-182, April.
    4. Stefano, Fasani, 2016. "Long-run Unemployment and Macroeconomic Volatility," Working Papers 352, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 18 Oct 2016.
    5. CAMILLI, Andrea; LAGERBORG, Andresa, 2017. "Do Labor Market Institutions Matter for Fertility?," Economics Working Papers ECO 2017/07, European University Institute.
    6. Samet Günay, 2014. "Are the Scaling Properties of Bull and Bear Markets Identical? Evidence from Oil and Gold Markets," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-20, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asymmetric adjustment costs; downward wage rigidity; labor market; non—linear dynamics; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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