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Time Variation in U.S. Wage Dynamics

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  • Roland Straub

    (European Central Bank)

  • Gert Peersman

    (Ghent University)

  • Boris Hofmann

    (Bank for International Settlements)

Abstract

This paper explores time variation in the dynamic effects of technology shocks on U.S. output, prices, interest rates as well as real and nominal wages. The results indicate considerable time variation in U.S. wage dynamics that can be linked to the monetary policy regime. Before and after the "Great Inflation", nominal wages moved in the same direction as the (required) adjustment of real wages, and in the opposite direction of the price response. During the "Great Inflation", technology shocks in contrast triggered wage-price spirals, moving nominal wages and prices in the same direction at longer horizons, thus counteracting the required adjustment of real wages, amplifying the ultimate repercussions on prices and hence increasing inflation volatility. Using a standard DSGE model, we show that these stylized facts, in particular the estimated magnitudes, can only be explained by assuming a high degree of wage indexation in conjunction with a weak reaction of monetary policy to inflation during the "Great Inflation", and low indexation together with aggressive inflation stabilization of monetary policy before and after this period. This means that the monetary policy regime is not only captured by the parameters of the monetary policy rule, but importantly also by the degree of wage indexation and resultant second round effects in the labor market. Accordingly, the degree of wage indexation is not structural in the sense of Lucas (1976).

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Straub & Gert Peersman & Boris Hofmann, 2011. "Time Variation in U.S. Wage Dynamics," 2011 Meeting Papers 331, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:331
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    1. Mumtaz, Haroon & Theodoridis, Konstantinos, 2017. "Common and country specific economic uncertainty," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 205-216.
    2. Anna Florio, 2018. "Unmoored expectations and the price puzzle," DEM Working Papers Series 154, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    3. Boris Hofmann & Gert Peersman, 2017. "Monetary policy transmission and trade-offs in the United States: Old and new," BIS Working Papers 649, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Hubrich, Kirstin, 2017. "Macroeconomic implications of oil price fluctuations: a regime-switching framework for the euro area," Working Paper Series 2119, European Central Bank.
    5. Baele, Lieven & Bekaert, Geert & Cho, Seonghoon & Inghelbrecht, Koen & Moreno, Antonio, 2015. "Macroeconomic regimes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 51-71.
    6. Mathias Klein, 2016. "Austerity and Private Debt," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1611, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Juli?n Messina & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2014. "Wage Rigidity and Disinflation in Emerging Countries," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 102-133, January.
    8. Wolters Maik H. & Tillmann Peter, 2015. "The changing dynamics of US inflation persistence: a quantile regression approach," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 161-182, April.
    9. Abo-Zaid, Salem, 2013. "Optimal monetary policy and downward nominal wage rigidity in frictional labor markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 345-364.
    10. Acocella, Nicola & Di Bartolomeo, Giovanni & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2015. "U.S. Trend Inflation Reinterpreted: The Role Of Fiscal Policies And Time-Varying Nominal Rigidities," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(06), pages 1294-1308, September.
    11. Bryan Perry & Kerk Phillips & David E. Spencer, 2015. "Real wages and monetary policy: a DSGE approach," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 42(5), pages 734-752, October.
    12. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:1:p:55-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Julio A. Carrillo & Gert Peersman & Joris Wauters, 2013. "Endogenous Wage Indexation and Aggregate Shocks," Working Papers 2013-19, Banco de México.
    14. Antonia López-Villavicencio & Sophie Saglio, 2017. "The Wage Inflation-Unemployment Curve at the Macroeconomic Level," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(1), pages 55-78, February.
    15. Maria Ferrara & Patrizio Tirelli, 2015. "Can a DSGE Model Explain a Costly Disinflation?," Working Papers 306, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2015.
    16. Giovanni Bartolomeo & Marco Pietro, 2017. "Intrinsic Persistence of Wage Inflation in New Keynesian Models of the Business Cycles," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1195, September.
    17. Mathias Klein & Roland Winkler, 2017. "Austerity, Inequality, and Private Debt Overhang," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1633, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    18. Maria Ferrara & Patrizio Tirelli, 2015. "Disinflation and Inequality in a DSGE monetary model: A Welfare Analysis," Working Papers 305, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2015.
    19. Selien De Schryder & Gert Peersman & Joris Wauters, 2014. "Wage Indexation and the Monetary Policy Regime," CESifo Working Paper Series 5107, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Giraitis, Liudas & Kapetanios, George & Theodoridis, Konstantinos & Yates, Tony, 2014. "Estimating time-varying DSGE models using minimum distance methods," Bank of England working papers 507, Bank of England.
    21. Tim Oliver Berg, 2015. "Technology News and the US Economy: Time Variation and Structural Changes," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 62(3), pages 227-263, July.
    22. Champagne, Julien & Kurmann, André, 2013. "The great increase in relative wage volatility in the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 166-183.
    23. Joris de Wind & Luca Gambetti, 2014. "Reduced-rank time-varying vector autoregressions," CPB Discussion Paper 270, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    24. Donayre, Luiggi & Panovska, Irina, 2016. "Nonlinearities in the U.S. wage Phillips curve," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 19-43.
    25. Fernando Siqueira Dos Santos, 2016. "Okun’S Law And Labor Productivity In Brazil," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 232, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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