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Wage and Price Phillips Curves An empirical analysis of destabilizing wage-price spirals

  • Peter Flaschel


    (University of Bielefeld, Germany)

  • Hans-Martin Krolzig


    (Department of Economics, and Nuffield College, Oxford University)

In this paper we introduce a small Keynesian model of economic growth which is centered around two advanced types of Phillips curves, one for money wages and one for prices, both being augmented by perfect myopic foresight and supplemented by a measure of the medium-term inflationary climate updated in an adaptive fashion. The model contains two potentially destabilizing feedback chains, the so-called Mundell and Rose-effects. We estimate parsimonious and congruent Phillips curves for money wages and prices in the US over the past five decades. Using the parameters of the empirical Phillips curves, we show that the growth path of the private sector of the model economy is likely to be surrounded by centrifugal forces. Convergence to this growth path can be generated in two ways: a Blanchard-Katz-type error-correction mechanism in the money-wage Phillips curve or a modified Taylor rule that is augmented by a term, which transmits increases in the wage share (real unit labor costs) to increases in the nominal rate of interest. Thus the model is characterized by local instability of the wage-price spiral, which however can be tamed by appropriate wage or monetary policies. Our empirical analysis finds the error-correction mechanism being ineffective in both Phillips curves suggesting that the stability of the post-war US macroeconomy originates from the stabilizing role of monetary policy.

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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2003-W16.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0316
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  1. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  2. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence Katz, 1999. "Wage Dynamics: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Laxton, Douglas & Rose, David & Tambakis, Demosthenes, 1999. "The U.S. Phillips curve: The case for asymmetry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1459-1485, September.
  4. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
  6. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
  7. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & López-Salido, J David, 2001. "European Inflation Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 2684, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C45-61, May.
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  11. PLASMANS, Joseph & MEERSMAN, Hilde & VAN POECK, André & MERLEVEDE, Bruno, 2002. "The unemployment benefit system and wage flexibility in EMU: time-varying evidence in five countries," Working Papers 2002020, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
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  13. Ray C. Fair, 2000. "Testing the NAIRU Model for the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 64-71, February.
  14. Hans-Martin Krolzig, 2001. "General--to--Specific Reductions of Vector Autoregressive Processes," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 164, Society for Computational Economics.
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  16. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
  17. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  18. Gordon, Robert J, 1996. "The Time-varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. David Romer, 2000. "Keynesian Macroeconomics without the LM Curve," NBER Working Papers 7461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. William Poole, 1999. "Monetary policy rules?," Speech 81, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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  23. Flaschel, Peter & Gong, Gang & Semmler, Willi, 2001. "A Keynesian macroeconometric framework for the analysis of monetary policy rules," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 101-136, September.
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  25. Chiarella, Carl & Flaschel, Peter & Wells, Graeme, 2003. "The Dynamics Of Keynesian Monetary Growth," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 473-475, June.
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