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Learning about wage and price mark-ups in euro area countries

  • Angelini, Elena
  • Dieppe, Alistair
  • Pierluigi, Beatrice

In this paper we show that higher flexibility, measured by lower wage and price mark-ups leads to reduced inflationary pressures, increase in competitiveness, and higher output. A rational expectation and a learning version of the ECB’s New Multi-Country Model are used to understand plausible dynamics of labour cost and price adjustments. In the rational expectation version of the model gains are quicker but more short-lived than in a learning environment. We argue that a rational expectation model appears appropriate to describe the abrupt wage adjustment which took place in the Baltic States. By contrast, a learning model appears better suited to capture the gradual wage adjustment of Germany during the 2000s and the one that started in Spain and Italy after the 2008-09 crisis. In fact, in view of implementation lags and the need to change institutions, in the above countries the adjustment should be expected to deliver output gains less quickly than in the Baltic States. In this paper we use the linked version of the model to evaluate the aggregate impact of the imposed shocks as well as possible spillover effects within the euro area. All in all, spillover effects are relatively small. JEL Classification: E24, E27, E30, E37, J30

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1512.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131512
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  1. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Current Account Deficits in Rich Countries," NBER Working Papers 12925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christoffel, Kai & Coenen, Günter & Warne, Anders, 2008. "The New Area-Wide Model of the euro area: a micro-founded open-economy model for forecasting and policy analysis," Working Paper Series 0944, European Central Bank.
  3. Rebekka Christopoulou & Philip Vermeulen, 2012. "Markups in the Euro area and the US over the period 1981–2004: a comparison of 50 sectors," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 53-77, February.
  4. Sandra Gomes & Pascal Jacquinot & Matthias Mohr & Massimiliano Pisani, 2013. "Structural Reforms and Macroeconomic Performance in the Euro Area Countries: A Model-Based Assessment," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 23-44, 02.
  5. Sebastian Barnes & Romain Bouis & Philippe Briard & Sean Dougherty & Mehmet Eris, 2013. "The GDP Impact of Reform: A Simple Simulation Framework," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 834, OECD Publishing.
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  7. Dieppe, Alistair & González Pandiella, Alberto & Willman, Alpo, 2012. "The ECB's New Multi-Country Model for the euro area: NMCM — Simulated with rational expectations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2597-2614.
  8. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2007. "State-dependency and firm-level optimization: a contribution to Calvo price staggering," Working Paper Series 0806, European Central Bank.
  9. Gomes, Sandra & Jacquinot, Pascal & Pisani, Massimiliano, 2010. "The EAGLE. A model for policy analysis of macroeconomic interdependence in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1195, European Central Bank.
  10. Ratto, Marco & Roeger, Werner & Veld, Jan in 't, 2009. "QUEST III: An estimated open-economy DSGE model of the euro area with fiscal and monetary policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 222-233, January.
  11. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1997. "Is EMU more justifiable ex post than ex ante?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 753-760, April.
  12. Holger Zemanek, 2010. "Competitiveness Within The Euro Area: The Problem That Still Needs To Be Solved," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 42-47, October.
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