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Prices, Wages, and Employment in the U.S. Economy: A Traditional Model and Tests of Some Alternatives

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  • Albert Ando
  • Flint Brayton

Abstract

In this paper, we outline the cost minimizing behavior of oligopoly firms and the price adjustment process in the labor market which underlie the traditional formulation of aggregate wage-price behavior in the U.S., and show that resulting equations applied to U.S. data remain stable before and after the significant change in the monetary policy rule that had taken place in 1979. This result contradicts the prediction of the Lucas critique applied to this context that, in response to a major change of the monetary policy rule, the Phillips curve and the price setting equation of firms would have undergone significant changes. We test several competing hypotheses for the price level determination, including the possibility that more direct effect of the money supply should be relevant, and show that our formulation dominates alternatives in non- nested tests. Finally, we present evidence that the nature of capital is putty-clay rather than fully malleable, together with a demand function for labor based on this recognition. In the process of these inquiries, we contrast our formulation with that proposed by Layard and Nickell in England.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert Ando & Flint Brayton, 1993. "Prices, Wages, and Employment in the U.S. Economy: A Traditional Model and Tests of Some Alternatives," NBER Working Papers 4568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4568
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Milton Friedman, 1971. "A Theoretical Framework for Monetary Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie71-1.
    2. Yock Y. Chong & David F. Hendry, 1986. "Econometric Evaluation of Linear Macro-Economic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 671-690.
    3. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G, 1981. "Several Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 781-793, May.
    4. Hallman, Jeffrey J & Porter, Richard D & Small, David H, 1991. "Is the Price Level Tied to the M2 Monetary Aggregate in the Long Run?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 841-858, September.
    5. repec:sae:niesru:v:111:y::i:1:p:62-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen, 1986. "Unemployment in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages 121-169, Supplemen.
    7. Pagan, Adrian, 1989. "On the role of simulation in the statistical evaluation of econometric models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 125-139, January.
    8. R. Layard & S. Nickell, 1985. "The Causes of British Unemployment," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 111(1), pages 62-85, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anonymous or collective, 1998. "La boucle prix-salaires et la détermination du chômage," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 134(3), pages 21-40.
    2. King, Thomas B. & Morley, James, 2007. "In search of the natural rate of unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 550-564, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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