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How Much Inflation is Necessary to Grease the Wheels?

  • KIM, Jinill
  • RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J.

This paper studies Tobin's proposition that inflation "greases" the wheels of the labor market. The analysis is carried out using a simple dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with asymmetric wage adjustment costs. Optimal inflation is determined by a benevolent government that maximizes the households' welfare. The Simulated Method of Moments is used to estimate the nonlinear model based on its second-order approximation. Econometric results indicate that nominal wages are downwardly rigid and that the optimal level of grease inflation for the U.S. economy is about 1.2 percent per year, with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 0.2 to 1.6 percent.

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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 11-2007.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:11-2007
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  1. Ireland, Peter N., 2001. "Sticky-price models of the business cycle: Specification and stability," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-18, February.
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  3. RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J., 2003. "Methods to Estimate Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models," Cahiers de recherche 2003-23, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  4. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Working Paper 2004/5, Norges Bank.
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  8. Chen, Haipeng (Allan) & Levy, Daniel & Ray, Sourav & Bergen, Mark, 2008. "Asymmetric price adjustment in the small," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 728-737, May.
  9. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Introduction to "Monetary Policy Rules"," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, December.
  14. Jinill Kim & Dale W. Henderson, 2002. "Inflation targeting and nominal income growth targeting: when and why are they suboptimal?," International Finance Discussion Papers 719, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  19. Henry Kim & Jinill Kim & Ernst Schaumburg & Christopher A. Sims, 2005. "Calculating and Using Second Order Accurate Solutions of Discrete Time Dynamic Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0505, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  20. 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.
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  38. Kim, Jinill, 2000. "Constructing and estimating a realistic optimizing model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 329-359, April.
  39. Sara G. Castellanos & Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu & David S. Kaplan, 2004. "Nominal Wage Rigidities in Mexico: Evidence from Social Security Records," NBER Working Papers 10383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  41. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
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