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Jobless Recoveries During Financial Crises: Is Inflation the Way Out?

  • Guillermo Calvo
  • Fabrizio Coricelli
  • Pablo Ottonello

This paper discusses three policy tools to mitigate jobless recoveries during financial crises: inflation, real currency depreciation, and credit-recovery policies. Using a sample of financial crises in Emerging Market economies, we document that large inflationary spikes appear to help unemployment to get back to pre-crisis levels. However, the counterpart of inflation is sizably lower real wages. Hence, inflation does not prevent wage earners as a whole from getting hit by financial crises. Interestingly, neither the change in the real exchange rate nor the change in output composition (tradables/nontradables), from output peak to recovery point, displays a statistically significant relationship with inflation or jobless recovery. This suggests that currency depreciation can help reduce unemployment only insofar as it is associated with inflation, and that jobless recovery is likely due to nominal wage rigidity. The paper also shows that measures to reactivate credit flows could be beneficial to wage earners as a whole, as measured by the real wage bill.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19683.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19683
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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(3), pages 291-299, September.
  2. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles, and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1029-61, April.
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  8. Olivier Blanchard, 2005. "European Unemployment: The Evolution of Facts and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 11750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Englund, Peter, 1999. "The Swedish Banking Crisis: Roots and Consequences," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 80-97, Autumn.
  10. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Rudy Loo-Kung, 2012. "Optimal Holdings of International Reserves: Self-Insurance against Sudden Stop," NBER Working Papers 18219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Barbosa Nelson, 2010. "Latin America: Counter-Cyclical Policy in Brazil: 2008-09," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, January.
  12. Edward S. Knotek II & Stephen Terry, 2009. "How will unemployment fare following the recession?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-33.
  13. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
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