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Disinflation and the NAIRU

  • Laurence Ball

This paper asks why the NAIRU rose in most OECD countries in the 1980s. I find that a central cause was the tight monetary policy used to reduce inflation. The evidence comes from a cross-country comparison: countries with larger decreases in inflation and longer disinflationary periods have larger rises in the NAIRU. Imperfections in the labor market have little direct relation to changes in the NAIRU, but long-term unemployment benefits magnify the effects of disinflation. These results support `hysteresis' theories of unemployment.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5520.

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Date of creation: Mar 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, C. Romer and D. Romer, eds.,(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5520
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jørgen Elmeskov, 1993. "High and Persistent Unemployment: Assessment of the Problem and Its Causes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 132, OECD Publishing.
  3. Laurence Ball, 1994. "What Determines the Sacrifice Ratio?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 155-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  5. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 1989. "The Insider-Outsider Theory of Employment and Unemployment," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026262074x, June.
  6. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  7. Blanchard, Olivier & Jimeno, Juan F, 1995. "Structural Unemployment: Spain versus Portugal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 212-18, May.
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