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Inflation and Labor Market Flexibility: The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

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  • Ana Maria Loboguerrero
  • Ugo Panizza

Abstract

Inflation can “grease” the wheels of the labor market by relaxing downward wage rigidity but it can also increase uncertainty and have a negative “sand” effect. This paper studies the grease effect of inflation by looking at whether the interaction between inflation and labor market regulations affects how employment responds to changes in output. The results show that in industrial countries with highly regulated labor markets, the grease effect of inflation dominates the sand effect. In the case of developing countries, we rarely find a significant effect of inflation on labor market regulations and provide evidence indicating that this could be due to the presence of a large informal sector and limited enforcement of de jure labor market regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Maria Loboguerrero & Ugo Panizza, 2003. "Inflation and Labor Market Flexibility: The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease," Research Department Publications 4347, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4347
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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