Identifying inflation's grease and sand effects in the labor market
Inflation has been accused of causing distortionary prices and wage fluctuations (sand) as well as lauded for facilitating adjustments to shocks when wages are rigid downwards (grease). This paper investigates whether these two effects can be distinguished from each other in a labor market by the following identification strategy: inflation-induced deviations among employer's mean wage-changes represent unintended intramarket distortions (sand), while inflation-induced, inter-occupational wage-changes reflect intended alignments with intermarket forces (grease). ; Using a unique 40-year panel of wage changes made by large mid-western employers, we find a wide variety of evidence to support the identification strategy. We also find some indications that occupational wages in large firms gained flexibility in the past four years. These results strongly support other findings that grease and sand effects exist, but also suggest that they offset each other in a welfare sense and in unemployment effects. Thus, at levels up to five percent, the net impact of inflation is beneficial but statistically indistinguishable from zero. It turns detrimental after that. When positive, net benefits never exceed a tenth of gross benefits.
|Date of creation:||1997|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10045-0001|
Web page: http://www.newyorkfed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.ny.frb.org/rmaghome/staff_rp/ Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1994.
"The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?,"
9418, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1996. "The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?," Staff Reports 9, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1995. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," Working Papers 735, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1996. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Working Papers 5538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Haley, James, 1990. " Theoretical Foundations for Sticky Wages," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 115-155.
- Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-389, April.
- Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
- Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
- David E. Lebow & David J. Stockton & William L. Wascher, 1995. "Inflation, nominal wage rigidity, and the efficiency of labor markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
- Alan S. Blinder & Don H. Choi, 1990. "A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1003-1015.
- Alan S. Blinder & Don H. Choi, 1989. "A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness," NBER Working Papers 3105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Laurence Ball & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1990. "Inflation and Uncertainty at Long and Short Horizons," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 215-254.
- Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
- Erica L. Groshen, 1996. "American Employer Salary Surveys and Labor Economics Reseach: Issues and Contributions," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 41-42, pages 413-442.
- Erica Groshen, 1996. "American employer salary surveys and labor economics research: issues and contributions," Research Paper 9604, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Vining, Daniel R, Jr & Elwertowski, Thomas C, 1976. "The Relationship between Relative Prices and the General Price Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 699-708, September.
- Bryan, Michael F & Gavin, William T, 1986. "Models of Inflation Expectations Formation: A Comparison of Household and Economist Forecasts: A Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(4), pages 539-544, November.
- Allan Drazen & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1986. "Inflation and Wage Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 1811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
- Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-472, June.
- Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
- Erica Groshen & David Levine, 1998. "The rise and decline(?) of U.S. internal labor markets," Research Paper 9819, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
- Javier Andrés & Ignacio Hernando, 1999. "Does Inflation Harm Economic Growth? Evidence from the OECD," NBER Chapters,in: The Costs and Benefits of Price Stability, pages 315-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Javier Andres & Ignacio Hernando, 1997. "Does Inflation Harm Economic Growth? Evidence for the OECD," NBER Working Papers 6062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levine, David I, 1993. "Fairness, Markets, and Ability to Pay: Evidence from Compensation Executives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1241-1259, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:31. 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: (Amy Farber)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.