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Wage curve vs. Phillips curve: are there macroeconomic implications?


  • Karl Whelan


The standard derivation of the accelerationist Phillips curve relates expected real wage inflation to the unemployment rate and invokes a constant price markup and adaptive expectations to generate the accelerationist price inflation formula. Blanchflower and Oswald (1994) argue that microeconomic evidence of a low autoregression coefficient in real wage regressions invalidates the macroeconomic Phillips curve. This conclusion has been disputed by a number of authors on the grounds that the true autoregression coefficient is close to 1. This paper shows that given the assumption of a constant price markup, micro-level real wage dynamics have no observable implications for macro data on wage and price inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Whelan, 1997. "Wage curve vs. Phillips curve: are there macroeconomic implications?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1997-51

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    2. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
    3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    4. repec:fth:prinin:343 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
    7. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 285-299, June.
    8. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1991. "Markups and the Business Cycle," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 63-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
    10. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Estimating a Wage Curve for Britain: 1973-90," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1025-1043, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," NBER Working Papers 11338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Enrique López E. & Martha Misas A., 1998. "Un examen empírico de la curva de Phillips en Colombia," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 17(34), pages 39-87, Diciembre.
    3. Fabiani, Silvia & Mestre, Ricardo, 2000. "Alternative measures of the NAIRU in the euro area: estimates and assessment," Working Paper Series 0017, European Central Bank.
    4. Dobrescu, Emilian, 2006. "Double-Conditioned Potential Output," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 3(1), pages 32-50, March.
    5. Dobrescu, Emilian, 2006. "Macromodel of the Romanian market economy (version 2005)," MPRA Paper 35749, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Lawrence F. Katz & Olivier Blanchard, 1999. "Wage Dynamics: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 69-74, May.
    7. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2000. "Unemployment and wage growth: recent cross-state evidence," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 41-54.
    8. Emilian Dobrescu, "undated". "Integration of Macroeconomic Behavioural Relationships and the Input-output Block (Romanian Modelling Experience)," EcoMod2006 272100018, EcoMod.
    9. Islam, Faridul & Shahbaz, Muhammad & Shabbir, Muhammad, 2011. "Phillips curve in a small open economy: A time series exploration of North Cyprus," MPRA Paper 28397, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Wages ; Macroeconomics;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation


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