IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Cost and Price Movements in Business Cycle Theories and Experience: Hypotheses of Sticky Wages and Prices (SEE ALSO WP3132-send out together)

  • Victor Zarnowitz
Registered author(s):

    In the post-World War II period, wage and price levels reacted much less to business contractions than they did in earlier times. Inflation prevailed and its persistence increased. The contractions themselves became relatively short and mild. All these developments have some common roots in the major structural, institutional, and policy changes of the era. This paper takes a look at the assumptions concerning wage and price behavior in types of contemporary macroeconomic theories and their implications for the analysis of the business cycle. The various hypotheses of real and nominal "rigidities" are then related to each other and to alternative theories of how markets clear. Long-term stable wage and price arrangements or contracts have important equilibrium aspects that are consistent with high degrees of competition; or, to put it differently, there are good reasons for market clearing by nonprice mechanisms. Further, imperfections of competition, information, and markets make some stickiness of wages and prices inevitable. Changes in relative prices and costs, productivity, and profitability play an important role in the process of propagation of business cycles.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3131.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3131.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: Oct 1989
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3131
    Note: EFG
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. William H. Branson & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1979. "International Adjustment with Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 0406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "A Near-rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Intertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 823-38, Supp..
    3. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H., 1977. "Stabilization of the domestic and international economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-6, January.
    4. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
    5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "Implicit Contracts under Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 123-56, Supplemen.
    6. Robert E. Hall, 1980. "Employment Fluctuations and Wage Rigidity," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(1, Tenth ), pages 91-142.
    7. Victor Zarnowitz & Geoffrey H. Moore, 1986. "Major Changes in Cyclical Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 519-582 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    9. Thor Hultgren, 1960. "Changes in Labor Cost During Cycles in Production and Business," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hult60-1, August.
    10. Gordon, Robert J, 1981. "Output Fluctuations and Gradual Price Adjustment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 493-530, June.
    11. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1984. "Theories of Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 1442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Zarnowitz, Victor & Lambros, Louis A, 1987. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 591-621, June.
    13. Dennis W. Carlton, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," NBER Working Papers 1813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
    15. Oliver Jean Blanchard, 1987. "Aggregate and Individual Price Adjustment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(1), pages 57-122.
    16. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
    17. Ben S. Bernanke & James Powell, 1986. "The Cyclical Behavior of Industrial Labor Markets: A Comparison of the Prewar and Postwar Eras," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 583-638 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Woglom, Geoffrey, 1982. "Underemployment Equilibrium with Rational Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 89-107, February.
    19. Kniesner, Thomas J & Goldsmith, Arthur H, 1987. "A Survey of Alternative Models of the Aggregate U.S. Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 1241-80, September.
    20. Parkin, Michael, 1986. "The Output-Inflation Trade-off When Prices Are Costly to Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 200-224, February.
    21. Robert J. Gordon, 1981. "Why U.S. Wage and Employment Behavior Differs from That in Britain and Japan," NBER Working Papers 0809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
    23. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 1906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
    25. Victor Zarnowitz, 1989. "Facts and Factors in the Recent Evolution of Business Cycles in the United States," NBER Working Papers 2865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Examining Alternative Macroeconomic Theories," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 207-270.
    27. Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Labor Hoarding, Inflexible Prices, and Procyclical Productivity," NBER Working Papers 2591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
    29. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim, 1983. "Price Smoothing and Inventory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 87-98, January.
    30. Stanley Fischer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "Should Nations Learn to Live With Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 2815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Thor Hultgren, 1950. "Cyclical Diversities in the Fortunes of Industrial Corporations," NBER Chapters, in: Cyclical Diversities in the Fortunes of Industrial Corporations, pages 1-40 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-38, May.
    33. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
    35. Victor Zarnowitz, 1985. "Recent Work on Business Cycles in Historical Perspective: Review of Theories and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
    37. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
    38. John Kennan, 1988. "Equilibrium Interpretations of Employment and Real Wage Fluctuations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 157-216 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Solow, Robert M., 1979. "Another possible source of wage stickiness," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 79-82.
    40. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1985. "Wages and Employment in a Segmented Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1115-41, November.
    41. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
    42. Philip A. Klein & Geoffrey H. Moore, 1985. "Monitoring Growth Cycles in Market-Oriented Countries: Developing and Using International Economic Indicators," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number klei85-1, August.
    43. Thor Hultgren, 1950. "Cyclical Diversities in the Fortunes of Industrial Corporations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hult50-1, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3131. 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: ()

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.