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Monopolistic Competition, Efficiency Wages and Perverse Effects of Demand Shock

  • Jim Malley
  • Hassan Molana

In this paper we construct a stylised general equilibrium macromodel to show that demand led expansions may have unexpected effects when market imperfections lead to changes in labour productivity. We find some empirical support, from a number of European countries, for the main predictions of this model that unemployment and output are positively related when unemployment is low and inversely related when unemployment is high. An important policy insight that emerges from this study is that an exogenous stimulation of aggregate demand can only raise output and reduce unemployment provided the economy is operating relatively efficiently. However, when an economy is trapped in an inefficient equilibrium, positive demand shocks can lead, perversely, to an increase in unemployment.

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File URL: http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_22315_en.pdf
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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2000_20.

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Date of creation: Dec 2000
Date of revision: Feb 2001
Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2000_20
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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  3. Olivier Blanchard, 1998. "Revisiting European Unemployment: Unemployment, Capital Accumulation, and Factor Prices," NBER Working Papers 6566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Molana, Hassan & Moutos, Thomas, 1992. "A Note on Taxation, Imperfect Competition and the Balanced Budget Multiplier," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 68-74, January.
  5. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Working papers 527, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  7. Chatrerji, Monojit & Sparks, Roger, 1991. "Real wages, productivity, and the cycle: An efficiency wage model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 495-510.
  8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Specificity," NBER Working Papers 5757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B., 1990. "Efficiency wages and the business cycle puzzle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1275-1301, November.
  10. Thomas Moutos, 1989. "Turnover Costs, Unemployment and Macroeconomic Policies," Working Papers Series 89/5, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  11. Startz, Richard, 1989. "Monopolistic Competition as a Foundation for Keynesian Macroeconomic Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 737-52, November.
  12. Heijdra, Ben J & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1996. "Keynesian Multipliers and the Cost of Public Funds under Monopolistic Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1284-96, September.
  13. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1988. "Imperfect competition and the Keynesian cross," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 7-13.
  14. Reinhorn, Leslie J., 1998. "Imperfect competition, the Keynesian cross, and optimal fiscal policy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 331-337, March.
  15. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1994. "Growth and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 477-94, July.
  16. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1994. "A Positive Theory of Social Security," CEPR Discussion Papers 1025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  18. Disney, Richard F & Haskel, Jonathan & Heden, Ylva, 2000. "Restructuring And Productivity Growth In UK Manufacturing," CEPR Discussion Papers 2463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Jim Malley & Thomas Moutos, 2000. "Capital Accumulation and Unemployment: A Tale of Two "Continents"," CESifo Working Paper Series 236, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Hart, Oliver, 1982. "A Model of Imperfect Competition with Keynesian Features," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 109-38, February.
  21. Heijdra, Ben J & Ligthart, Jenny E & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1998. "Fiscal Policy, Distortionary Taxation, and Direct Crowding Out under Monopolistic Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 79-88, January.
  22. Dixon, Huw & Lawler, Phillip, 1996. " Imperfect Competition and the Fiscal Multiplier," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(2), pages 219-31, June.
  23. Fender, John & Yip, Chong K., 1993. "Monetary policies in an intertemporal macroeconomic model with imperfect competition," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 439-453.
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  25. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1992. "Capital markets and economic fluctuations in capitalist economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 269-306, April.
  26. Dixon, Huw, 1987. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition with Walrasian Features," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 134-60, March.
  27. Dixon, Huw, 1990. "Imperfect Competition, Unemployment Benefit and the Non-neutrality of Money: An Example," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 402-13, April.
  28. Hoon, Hian Teck & Phelps, Edmund S, 1992. "Macroeconomic Shocks in a Dynamized Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 889-900, September.
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