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Optimal Monetary Policy under Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity

  • Carlsson, Mikael


    (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

  • Westermark, Andreas


    (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

We develop a New Keynesian model with staggered price and wage setting where downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) arises endogenously through the wage bargaining institutions. It is shown that the optimal (discretionary) monetary policy response to changing economic conditions then becomes asymmetric. Interestingly, we find that the welfare loss is actually slightly smaller in an economy with DNWR. This is due to that DNWR is not an additional constraint on the monetary policy problem. Instead, it is a constraint that changes the choice set and opens up for potential welfare gains due to lower wage variability. Another finding is that the Taylor rule provides a fairly good approximation of optimal policy under DNWR. In contrast, this result does not hold in the unconstrained case. In fact, under the Taylor rule, agents would clearly prefer an economy with DNWR before an unconstrained economy ex ante.

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Paper provided by Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) in its series Working Paper Series with number 206.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0206
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sveriges Riksbank, SE-103 37 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08 - 787 00 00
Fax: 08-21 05 31
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 1994. "Algorithms for solving dynamic models with occasionally binding constraints," Staff Report 171, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Cecchetti, Stephen G, 1987. "Indexation and Incomes Policy: A Study of Wage Adjustment in Unionized Manufacturing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 391-412, July.
  3. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Memorandum 08/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. John B. Taylor, 1998. "Staggered Price and Wage Setting in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 6754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2005. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," NBER Working Papers 11245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  10. Kuroda, Sachiko & Yamamoto, Isamu, 2003. "Are Japanese Nominal Wages Downwardly Rigid? (Part II): Examinations Using a Friction Model," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(2), pages 31-68, August.
  11. Holden Steinar & Wulfsberg Fredrik, 2008. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-50, April.
  12. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
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  14. Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999. "The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  16. Söderlind, Paul, 1998. "Solution and Estimation of RE Macromodels with Optimal Policy," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 256, Stockholm School of Economics.
  17. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Are consumption taxes really better than income taxes?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 475-503, June.
  18. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, . "Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity," IEW - Working Papers 044, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  19. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  21. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
  22. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Carlsson, Mikael & Westermark, Andreas, 2006. "Monetary Policy and Staggered Wage Bargaining when Prices are Sticky," Working Paper Series 2006:31, Uppsala University, Department of Economics, revised 05 Jun 2009.
  24. Beth Anne Wilson, 1999. "Wage rigidity: a look inside the firm," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  25. Kuroda, Sachiko & Yamamoto, Isamu, 2003. "Are Japanese Nominal Wages Downwardly Rigid? (Part I): Examinations of Nominal Wage Change Distributions," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(2), pages 1-29, August.
  26. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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  28. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
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