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Is the Phillips Curve of Germany Spurious?

  • Quaas, Georg
  • Klein, Mathias

A simple plot of seasonal adjusted quarterly data between the change of nominal wage rates and the unemployment rate for the German economy shows a picture similar to that by which Phillips was inspired to his famous discovery, that there is a long-term tendency of a negative, non-linear relationship coupled with minor deviations from this tendency, which form so-called loops. At first sight, the Phillips Curve of Germany comprises clusters of data points and movements between these clusters. In spite of the striking differences of these phenomena, a model with one regression equation is sufficient to explain the loops, the movements between the loops and the long-term tendency of the German Phillips Curve. It might well be that the German Phillips Curve and the corresponding regressions are spurious, but an allegedly missing co-integration of wage rate changes and unemployment rate is not the argument that could be drawn on to sustain this scepticism. On the contrary, both variables are co-integrated. To get a more detailed insight into the relationship, the two variables are split into a trend and a cyclical component by the help of the HP-filter. The results of regression analyses applied to the separated components support Phillips’ hypothesis of a negative relationship between wage rate changes and the unemployment rate.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 26604.

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Date of creation: 10 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26604
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  1. Granger, C. W. J., 1981. "Some properties of time series data and their use in econometric model specification," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 121-130, May.
  2. Jordi Galí, 2009. "The return of the wage Phillips curve," Economics Working Papers 1199, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2010.
  3. Leonhard Dobusch & Jakob Kapeller, 2009. ""Why is Economics not an Evolutionary Science?" New Answers to Veblen's Old Question," Journal of Economic Issues, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 43(4), pages 867-898, December.
  4. Gruen, David & Pagan, Adrian & Thompson, Christopher, 1999. "The Phillips curve in Australia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 223-258, October.
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