IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Time Variation in U.S. Wage Dynamics




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).

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 10/691.

in new window

Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:10/691
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Hoveniersberg 4, B-9000 Gent

Phone: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 34 61
Fax: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 35 92
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Holland, A Steven, 1988. "The Changing Responsiveness of Wages to Price-Level Shocks: Explicit and Implicit Indexation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 265-79, April.
  2. Alejandro Justiniano & Northwestern University, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 219, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  5. Benati, Luca & Surico, Paolo, 2008. "VAR analysis and the Great Moderation," Working Paper Series 0866, European Central Bank.
  6. Gert Peersman & Roland Straub, 2009. "Technology Shocks And Robust Sign Restrictions In A Euro Area Svar," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 727-750, 08.
  7. Holland, A Steven, 1986. "Wage Indexation and the Effect of Inflation Uncertainty on Employment:An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 235-43, March.
  8. John P. Judd & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1998. "Taylor's rule and the Fed, 1970-1997," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-16.
  9. Jordi Gali & J. David Lopez-Salido & Javier Valles, 2002. "Technology Shocks and Monetary Policy: Assessing the Fed's Performance," NBER Working Papers 8768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Canova, Fabio & Gambetti, Luca, 2006. "Structural Changes in the US Economy: Bad Luck or Bad Policy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5457, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  12. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  13. Florin Bilbiie & Roland Straub, 2013. "Asset Market Participation, Monetary Policy Rules, and the Great Inflation," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00622873, HAL.
  14. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
  15. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Miles S. Kimball, 1998. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," International Finance Discussion Papers 625, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Holland, A Steven, 1995. "Inflation and Wage Indexation in the Postwar United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 172-76, February.
  17. Benati, Luca & Mumtaz, Haroon, 2007. "U.S. evolving macroeconomic dynamics: a structural investigation," Working Paper Series 0746, European Central Bank.
  18. Christiane Baumeister & Gert Peersman, 2012. "Time-Varying Effects of Oil Supply Shocks on the U.S. Economy," Staff Working Papers 12-2, Bank of Canada.
  19. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  20. Benati, Luca, 2008. "Investigating inflation persistence across monetary regimes," Working Paper Series 0851, European Central Bank.
  21. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Liu, Zheng & Phaneuf, Louis, 2007. "Technology shocks and labor market dynamics: Some evidence and theory," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2534-2553, November.
  23. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1998. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Staff Reports 41, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  24. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Olivier J. Blanchard & Marianna Riggi, 2013. "WHY ARE THE 2000s SO DIFFERENT FROM THE 1970s? A STRUCTURAL INTERPRETATION OF CHANGES IN THE MACROECONOMIC EFFECTS OF OIL PRICES," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1032-1052, October.
  26. Dedola, Luca & Neri, Stefano, 2006. "What does a technology shock do? A VAR analysis with model-based sign restrictions," Working Paper Series 0705, European Central Bank.
  27. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  28. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  29. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 155-80, Fall.
  30. Fischer, Stanley, 1983. "Indexing and inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 519-541, November.
  31. Luca Gambetti & Evi Pappa & Fabio Canova, 2005. "The structural dynamics of US output and inflation: What explains the changes?," Economics Working Papers 921, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  32. Gert Peersman & Ine Van Robays, 2009. "Oil and the Euro area economy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 603-651, October.
  33. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  34. James F. Ragan, Jr. & Bernt Bratsberg, 2000. "Un-COLA: Why Have Cost-of-Living Clauses Disappeared from Union Contracts and Will They Return?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 304-324, July.
  35. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2006:i:feb24 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
  37. Francis, Neville R & Owyang, Michael T & Theodorou, Athena T, 2005. "What Explains the Varying Monetary Response to Technology Shocks in G-7 Countries?," MPRA Paper 834, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  38. Kang Kyu Ho & Kim Chang-Jin & Morley James, 2009. "Changes in U.S. Inflation Persistence," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(4), pages 1-23, September.
  39. G. Peersman, 2004. "What caused the early millennium slowdown? Evidence based on vector autoregressions," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/235, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  40. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
  41. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Leif Danziger & Gee San, 1982. "Cost-of-Living Adjustment Clauses in Union Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, September.
  43. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:10/691. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nathalie Verhaeghe)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.