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The Costs of Price Stability - Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe

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  • Steinar Holden

Abstract

In most European countries, the prevailing terms of employment, including the nominal wage, can only be changed by mutual consent. I show that this feature implies that workers have a strategic advantage in the wage negotiations when they try to prevent a cut in nominal wages. If inflation is so low that some nominal wages have to be cut, the strategic advantage of the workers' induces higher unemployment in equilibrium. The upshot is a long run tradeoff between inflation and unemployment for low levels of inflation. The prediction that low inflation involves higher unemployment in Europe but not in the US, is consistent with previous empirical findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Steinar Holden, 2002. "The Costs of Price Stability - Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," NBER Working Papers 8865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8865
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    Cited by:

    1. Victoria V. Dobrynskaya, 2008. "The Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy of the Central Bank of Russia under Asymmetrical Price Rigidity," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 29-62.
    2. Thomas Beissinger & Chritoph Knoppik, 2005. "Sind Nominallöhne starr? Neuere Evidenz und wirtschaftspolitische Implikationen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 171-188, May.
    3. Branten, Eva & Lamo, Ana & Rõõm, Tairi, 2018. "Nominal wage rigidity in the EU countries before and after the Great Recession: evidence from the WDN surveys," Working Paper Series 2159, European Central Bank.
    4. Jonas Agell & Helge Bennmarker, 2003. "Endogenous Wage Rigidity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1081, CESifo.
    5. Bhaskar, V, 2002. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment:Micro-foundations and Macroeconomic Implications," Economics Discussion Papers 8849, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    6. Alfonso Arpaia & Karl Pichelmann, 2007. "Nominal and real wage flexibility in EMU," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 299-328, November.
    7. Agell, Jonas & Bennmarker, Helge, 2002. "Wage Policy and Endogenous Wage Rigidity: A Representative View from the Inside," Research Papers in Economics 2002:12, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    8. Servaas Deroose & Sven Langedijk & Werner Roeger, 2004. "Reviewing adjustment dynamics in EMU: from overheating to overcooling," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 198, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    9. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2010. "Downward Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity: Survey Evidence from European Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 884-910, December.
    10. Lumengo Bonga-Bonga & Ntsakeseni Letitia Lebese, 2019. "Rethinking The Current Inflation Target Range In South Africa," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 53(2), pages 13-27, April-Jun.
    11. Steinar Holden, 2004. "Wage Formation under Low Inflation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1252, CESifo.
    12. Francesco Devicienti, 2002. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Italy: Evidence and Consequences," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 20, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    13. Böckerman, Petri & Laaksonen, Seppo & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2006. "Micro-level evidence on wage rigidities in Finland," MPRA Paper 1811, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Lundborg, Per, 2008. "Wage Redistribution and the Long Run Phillips Curve," Working Paper Series 3/2008, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    15. Orietta DESSY, 2004. "Nominal wage flexibility and institutions: preliminary micro-evidence from the Europanel," Departmental Working Papers 2004-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    16. Orietta DESSY, 2005. "Nominal wage rigidity in Europe: estimates and institutional causes," Departmental Working Papers 2005-09, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    17. Gottfries, Nils, 2003. "Booms and Busts in EMU," Working Paper Series 2003:29, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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