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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 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.
  2. Dedola, Luca & Neri, Stefano, 2007. "What does a technology shock do? A VAR analysis with model-based sign restrictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 512-549, March.
  3. Christoffel, Kai & Linzert, Tobias, 2006. "The role of real wage rigidity and labor market frictions for unemployment and inflation dynamics," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,11, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," Working Papers 243, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  6. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl & Dennis Snower, 2010. "Monetary Persistence and the Labor Market: A New Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 2935, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl & Ester Faia, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs, Workers’ Heterogeneity and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2009 Meeting Papers 193, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2013. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 887-899.
  11. Faia, Ester, 2006. "Optimal monetary policy rules with labor market frictions," Working Paper Series 0698, European Central Bank.
  12. Ascari, Guido & Merkl, Christian, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the Cost of Disinflations," IZA Discussion Papers 3049, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
  14. Dennis J. Snower & Christian Merkl, 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market after Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 375-382, May.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. Christoffel, Kai & Kuester, Keith, 2008. "Resuscitating the wage channel in models with unemployment fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 865-887, July.
  18. John Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2005. "What Have We Learned about the Employment Effects of Severance Pay? Further Iterations of Lazear Et al," Empirica, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 345-368, 09.
  19. 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.
  20. Merkl, Christian & Schmitz, Tom, 2010. "Macroeconomic Volatilities and the Labor Market: First Results from the Euro Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. 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.
  22. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
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