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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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  7. Adolfson, Malin & Laséen, Stefan & Lindé, Jesper & Svensson, Lars E O, 2008. "Optimal Monetary Policy in an Operational Medium-Sized DSGE Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 6907, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  26. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 2942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  40. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
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