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The Inflation-Output Tradeoff: Which Type of Labor Market Rigidity Is to Be Blamed?

  • Christian Merkl

In the standard New Keynesian sticky price model the central bank faces no contradiction between the stabilization of inflation and the stabilization of the welfare relevant output gap after a productivity shock hits the economy. When the standard model is enhanced by real wage rigidities or labor turnover costs, an endogenous short-run inflation-output tradeoff arises. This paper compares the implications of the two labor market rigidities. It argues that economists and policymakers alike should pay more attention to labor turnover costs for the following reasons. First, a model with labor turnover costs generates impulse response functions that are more in line with the empirical evidence than those of a model with real wage rigidities. Second, labor turnover costs are the dominant source for the inflation-output tradeoff when both rigidities are present in the model. And finally, there is stronger empirical evidence for the existence of labor turnover costs than for real wage rigidities

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1495.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1495
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  1. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Price Shocks: Why are the 2000s so different from the 1970s?," NBER Chapters, in: International Dimensions of Monetary Policy, pages 373-421 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Ester Faia & Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs, Workers' Heterogeneity and Optimal Monetary Policy," Kiel Working Papers 1534, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Shocks: Why are the 2000s So Different from the 1970s?," NBER Working Papers 13368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christoffel, Kai & Kuester, Keith, 2008. "Resuscitating the wage channel in models with unemployment fluctuations," Working Paper Series 0923, European Central Bank.
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  7. Christian Haefke & Marcus Sonntag & Thijs van Rens, 2006. "Wage Rigidity and Job Creation," 2006 Meeting Papers 773, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Gali, J., 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," Working Papers 96-28, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  10. Dedola, Luca & Neri, Stefano, 2006. "What does a technology shock do? A VAR analysis with model-based sign restrictions," Working Paper Series 0705, European Central Bank.
  11. Ascari, Guido & Merkl, Christian, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the Cost of Disinflations," IZA Discussion Papers 3049, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Christoffel, Kai & Linzert, Tobias, 2005. "The role of real wage rigidity and labor market frictions for unemployment and inflation dynamics," Working Paper Series 0556, European Central Bank.
  13. Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labour Market after Reunification," CEPR Discussion Papers 5656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity in the New Keynesian model with search frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 706-727, April.
  15. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2008. "Monetary persistence and the labor market: A new perspective," Kiel Working Papers 1409, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  16. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Juan Botero, 2003. "The Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 9756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Ester Faia & Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl, 2014. "Labor Selection, Turnover Costs, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(1), pages 115-144, 02.
  18. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Christian Merkl & Tom Schmitz, 2009. "Macroeconomic Volatilities and the Labor Market: First Results from the Euro Experiment," Kiel Working Papers 1511, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  20. Faia, Ester, 2006. "Optimal monetary policy rules with labor market frictions," Working Paper Series 0698, European Central Bank.
  21. Snower, Dennis J. & Merkl, Christian, 2006. "The caring hand that cripples: The East German labor market after reunification (detailed version)," Kiel Working Papers 1263, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  22. Mirko Abbritti; Sebastian Weber, 2008. "Labor Market Rigidities and the Business Cycle: Price vs. Quantity Restricting Institutions," IHEID Working Papers 01-2008, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Jan 2008.
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