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The Cost of Nominal Inertia in NNS Models

Listed author(s):
  • Matthew B. Canzoneri
  • Robert E. Cumby
  • Behzad T. Diba

We calculate the welfare cost of nominal inertia in a New Neoclassical Synthesis model with wage and price stickiness, capital formation, and empirically estimated rules for government spending and the cental bank's interest rate policy. We calibrate our model to U.S. data, and we show that it captures many aspects of the U.S. business cycle. Moreover, our model is capable of generating the kind of volatility that has been observed in the efficiency gaps emphasized by Erceg, Henderson and Levin (2000) and Gali, Gertler and Lopez-Salido (2002). We also highlight some of the empirical shortcomings of the model; in particular, demand side shocks appear to be either missing or improperly modeled. We calculate the cost of nominal inertia under two specifications of monetary policy. The bottom line is that, under our preferred specification of monetary policy, the model implies a conservative estimate of the cost that is twenty to sixty times larger than Lucas's (2003) estimate: the "average" household in our model would be willing to give up one to three percent of consumption each period to be free of the effects of wage and price stickiness. Wage inertia appears to be the major source of these welfare costs.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10889.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10889.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
Publication status: published as Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2007. "The Cost of Nominal Rigidity in NNS Models," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(7), pages 1563-1586, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10889
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  1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2000. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1151-1180, September.
  2. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
  3. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2007. "Markups, Gaps, and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 44-59, November.
  4. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  9. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  18. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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