IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecb/ecbwps/20192235.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The link between labor cost and price inflation in the euro area

Author

Listed:
  • Bobeica, Elena
  • Ciccarelli, Matteo
  • Vansteenkiste, Isabel

Abstract

This paper documents, for the first time in a systematic manner, the link between labor cost and price inflation in the euro area. Using country and sector quarterly data over the period 1985Q1-2018Q1 we find a strong link between labor cost and price inflation in the four major economies of the euro area and across the three main sectors. The dynamic interaction between prices and wages is time-varying and depends on the state of the economy and on the shocks hitting the economy. Our results show that it is more likely that labor costs are passed on to price inflation with demand shocks than with supply shocks. However, the pass-through is systematically lower in periods of low inflation as compared to periods of high inflation. These results confirm that, under circumstances of predominantly demand shocks, labor cost increases will be passed on to prices. Coming from a period of low inflation, however, this pass-through could be moderate at least until inflation stably reaches a sustained path. JEL Classification: C32, E24, E31

Suggested Citation

  • Bobeica, Elena & Ciccarelli, Matteo & Vansteenkiste, Isabel, 2019. "The link between labor cost and price inflation in the euro area," Working Paper Series 2235, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20192235
    Note: 2382002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpwps/ecb.wp2235~69b97077ff.en.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fernando Martins & M. Druant & S. Fabiani & Gabor Kezdi & Ana Lamo & R. Sabbatini, 2009. "How are Firms’ Wages and Prices Linked: Survey Evidence in Europe," Working Papers w200918, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    2. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "What are the effects of fiscal policy shocks?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 960-992.
    3. E. Gautier & D. Fougère & S. Roux, 2016. "The Impact of the National Minimum Wage on Industry-Level Wage Bargaining in France," Working papers 587, Banque de France.
    4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Phillips curve inflation forecasts," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 53.
    5. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Sims, Eric R., 2012. "Confidence and the transmission of government spending shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 235-249.
    6. Du Caju, Philip & Fuss, Catherine & Wintr, Ladislav, 2012. "Sectoral differences in downward real wage rigidity: workforce composition, institutions, technology and competition," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 45(1), pages 7-22.
    7. Attilio Zanetti, 2007. "Do Wages Lead Inflation? Swiss Evidence," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(I), pages 67-92, March.
    8. Forbes, Kristin & Hjortsoe, Ida & Nenova, Tsvetelina, 2018. "The shocks matter: Improving our estimates of exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 255-275.
    9. Fabio Canova & Matteo Ciccarelli, 2009. "Estimating Multicountry Var Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 929-959, August.
    10. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Mark Watson, 1997. "Systematic Monetary Policy and the Effects of Oil Price Shocks," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 91-157.
    11. Allen Head & Alok Kumar & Beverly Lapham, 2010. "Market Power, Price Adjustment, And Inflation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 73-98, February.
    12. Christiane Baumeister & Luca Benati, 2013. "Unconventional Monetary Policy and the Great Recession: Estimating the Macroeconomic Effects of a Spread Compression at the Zero Lower Bound," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(2), pages 165-212, June.
    13. Benjamin Wong, 2015. "Do Inflation Expectations Propagate the Inflationary Impact of Real Oil Price Shocks?: Evidence from the Michigan Survey," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(8), pages 1673-1689, December.
    14. Claudia Foroni & Francesco Furlanetto & Antoine Lepetit, 2018. "Labor Supply Factors And Economic Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1491-1510, August.
    15. Cristina Conflitti & Roberta Zizza, 2018. "What’s behind firms’ inflation forecasts?," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 465, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    16. Lutz Kilian & Logan T. Lewis, 2011. "Does the Fed Respond to Oil Price Shocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 1047-1072, September.
    17. Sbordone, Argia M., 2002. "Prices and unit labor costs: a new test of price stickiness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 265-292, March.
    18. Yash P. Mehra, 2000. "Wage-price dynamics : are they consistent with cost push?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 27-43.
    19. Knotek, Edward S. & Zaman, Saeed, 2014. "On the Relationships between Wages, Prices, and Economic Activity," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Aug.
    20. Gert Peersman & Roland Straub, 2009. "Technology Shocks And Robust Sign Restrictions In A Euro Area Svar," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 727-750, August.
    21. Ellen R. Rissman, 1995. "Sectoral wage growth and inflation," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jul, pages 15-28.
    22. L. De Charsonville & F. Ferrière & C. Jardet, 2017. "MAPI: Model for Analysis and Projection of Inflation in France," Working papers 637, Banque de France.
    23. Gregory D. Hess & Mark E. Schweitzer, 2000. "Does wage inflation cause price inflation?," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Apr.
    24. Comunale, Mariarosaria & Kunovac, Davor, 2017. "Exchange rate pass-through in the euro area," Working Paper Series 2003, European Central Bank.
    25. Bils, Mark & Chang, Yongsung, 2000. "Understanding how price responds to costs and production," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 33-77, June.
    26. Bidder, Rhys, 2015. "Are wages useful in forecasting price inflation?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    27. repec:wly:jmoncb:v:49:y:2017:i:8:p:1777-1802 is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Gordon, Robert J, 1988. "The Role of Wages in the Inflation Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 276-283, May.
    29. Kenneth M. Emery & Chih-Ping Chang, 1996. "Do wages help predict inflation?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 2-9.
    30. Matteo Ciccarelli & Angela Maddaloni & Jose Luis Peydro, 2015. "Trusting the Bankers: A New Look at the Credit Channel of Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 979-1002, October.
    31. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1987. "Exchange Rates and Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 93-106, March.
    32. Sims, Christopher A. & Zha, Tao, 2006. "Does Monetary Policy Generate Recessions?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 231-272, April.
    33. Luojia Hu & Maude Toussaint-Comeau, 2010. "Do labor market activities help predict inflation?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 52-63.
    34. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Shifting endpoints in the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 613-652, June.
    35. repec:ecb:ecbbox:2018:0005:4 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    euro area; inflation; labor costs; pass-through; structural VAR;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20192235. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/emieude.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.