IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/13986.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Inflation-Unemployment Trade-Off at Low Inflation

Author

Listed:
  • Pierpaolo Benigno
  • Luca Antonio Ricci

Abstract

Wage setters take into account the future consequences of their current wage choices in the presence of downward nominal wage rigidities. Several interesting implications arise. First, a closed-form solution for a long-run Phillips curve relates average unemployment to average wage inflation; the curve is virtually vertical for high inflation rates but becomes flatter as inflation declines. Second, macroeconomic volatility shifts the Phillips curve outward, implying that stabilization policies can play an important role in shaping the trade-off. Third, nominal wages tend to be endogenously rigid also upward, at low inflation. Fourth, when inflation decreases, volatility of unemployment increases whereas the volatility of inflation decreases: this implies a long-run trade-off also between the volatility of unemployment and that of wage inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierpaolo Benigno & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2008. "The Inflation-Unemployment Trade-Off at Low Inflation," NBER Working Papers 13986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13986 Note: EFG IFM LS ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13986.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonas Agell & Per Lundborg, 2003. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity and Unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 15-30, March.
    2. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policy-Makers' Beliefs and U. S. Postwar Stabilization Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 867-901.
    3. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
    4. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 825-860.
    5. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    6. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 198-230, February.
    7. Wyplosz, Charles, 2001. "Do We Know How Low Inflation Should Be?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Christoph Knoppik & Thomas Beissinger, 2003. "How Rigid are Nominal Wages? Evidence and Implications for Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 619-641, December.
    9. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2007. "Defining Price Stability in Japan: A View from America," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 25(S1), pages 169-206, December.
    10. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages 45-61, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 581-593.
    13. 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.
    14. Kim, Jinill & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2009. "How much inflation is necessary to grease the wheels?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 365-377, April.
    15. Lebow David E & Saks Raven E & Wilson Beth Anne, 2003. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity: Evidence from the Employment Cost Index," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, October.
    16. Bullard, James & Keating, John W., 1995. "The long-run relationship between inflation and output in postwar economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 477-496, December.
    17. Thomas J. Sargent, 2008. "Evolution and Intelligent Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 5-37, March.
    18. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1994. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 247-261, March.
    19. Kimura, Takeshi & Ueda, Kazuo, 2001. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 50-67, March.
    20. Eldar Shafir & Peter Diamond & Amos Tversky, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-374.
    21. Erica Groshen & Mark Schweitzer, 1999. "Identifying Inflation's Grease and Sand Effects in the Labor Market," NBER Chapters,in: The Costs and Benefits of Price Stability, pages 273-314 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    23. Luis J. Álvarez & Emmanuel Dhyne & Marco Hoeberichts & Claudia Kwapil & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Lünnemann & Fernando Martins & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Philip Vermeulen & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Sticky Prices in the Euro Area: A Summary of New Micro-Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 575-584, 04-05.
    24. Sam Peltzman, 2000. "Prices Rise Faster than They Fall," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 466-502, June.
    25. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
    26. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Guiseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 223-246.
    28. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
    29. Pindyck, Robert S, 1988. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 969-985, December.
    30. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
    31. 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.
    32. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
    33. Peter Gottschalk, 2005. "Downward Nominal-Wage Flexibility: Real or Measurement Error?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 556-568, August.
    34. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    35. Stephan Fahr & Frank Smets, 2010. "Downward Wage Rigidities and Optimal Monetary Policy in a Monetary Union," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 812-840, December.
    36. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "The conquest of US inflation: Learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 528-563, April.
    37. Loboguerrero Ana Maria & Panizza Ugo, 2006. "Does Inflation Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-28, October.
    38. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1999. "How should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 195-259.
    39. Holden, Steinar, 1997. "Wage Bargaining, Holdout, and Inflation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 235-255, April.
    40. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2008. "Does Stabilizing Inflation Contribute To Stabilizing Economic Activity?," NBER Working Papers 13970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Olivier Blanchard, 2009. "The State of Macro," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 209-228, May.
    42. Fagan, Gabriel & Messina, Julián, 2009. "Downward wage rigidity and optimal steady-state inflation," Working Paper Series 1048, European Central Bank.
    43. Andersen, Torben M, 2001. "Can Inflation Be Too Low?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 591-602.
    44. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "A simplified treatment of the theory of optimal regulation of Brownian motion," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 657-673, October.
    45. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
    46. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678-678.
    47. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1998. "Irreversible investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-37, March.
    48. Steinar Holden, 2004. "The Costs of Price Stability: Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(281), pages 183-208, May.
    49. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-837, September.
    50. Friedman, Milton, 1976. "Inflation and Unemployment," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1976-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
    51. King, Robert G. & Watson, Mark W., 1994. "The post-war U.S. phillips curve: a revisionist econometric history," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 157-219, December.
    52. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
    53. Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "A primer on optimal monetary policy with staggered price-setting," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 27-52.
    54. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Etienne Farvaque & Alexander Mihailov, 2008. "Intergenerational Transmission of Inflation Aversion: Theory and Evidence," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2008-71, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    2. Juan David Prada Sarmiento & Luis Eduardo Rojas Dueñas, 2009. "La elasticidad de Frisch y la transmisión de la política monetaria en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 555, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. Kim, Jinill & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2011. "Monetary policy when wages are downwardly rigid: Friedman meets Tobin," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2064-2077.
    4. Di Bartolomeo, Giovanni & Tirelli, Patrizio & Acocella, Nicola, 2014. "Trend inflation, the labor market wedge, and the non-vertical Phillips curve," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1022-1035.
    5. Kim, Jinill & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2009. "How much inflation is necessary to grease the wheels?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 365-377, April.
    6. Di Bartolomeo, Giovanni & Tirelli, Patrizio & Acocella, Nicola, 2012. "Inflation targets and endogenous wage markups in a New Keynesian model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 391-403.
    7. Pierpaolo Benigno & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2011. "The Inflation-Output Trade-Off with Downward Wage Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1436-1466, June.
    8. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Tirelli Patrizio & Acocella Nicola, 2010. "Trend inflation, endogenous mark-ups and the non-vertical Phillips curve," wp.comunite 0065, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    9. Fagan, Gabriel & Messina, Julián, 2009. "Downward wage rigidity and optimal steady-state inflation," Working Paper Series 1048, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13986. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.