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Wage Flexibility and Unemployment : the Keynesian Perspective Revisited

Author

Listed:
  • Mario Amendola

    (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche)

  • Jean-Luc Gaffard
  • Francesco Saraceno

Abstract

Keynes' main concern in the General Theory is about the capacity of an economy to return to a full employment equilibrium when subject to a (negative) demand shock. He maintains that money wages cuts may not help reabsorb unemployment, as they do not necessarily imply a fall in real wages. On the contrary, wage rigidity maybe necessary for avoiding that a cumulative process propels the economy far away the full employment equilibrium. The consideration of co-ordination failures in the investment-saving market is behind this conclusion. However, the analysis is carried out within a static equilibrium framework. This paper is an attempt to focus on the problems of intertemporal co-ordination arising within the context of a sequential economy. Our analysis of the out-of-equilibrium process of adjustment stirred by a shock of whatever nature allows to generalize the original Keynesian intuition. It shows in fact that unemployment emerges as the result of a lack of co-ordination due to irreversibly constrained choices, and that not only nominal but also real wage flexibility does not necessarily help to restore equilibrium. As a matter of fact, it may even be harmful, by triggering processes that make the economy diverge from equilibrium. The analysis carried out has important analytical implications as regards the role of market imperfections and the interpretation of the effects of monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Amendola & Jean-Luc Gaffard & Francesco Saraceno, 2001. "Wage Flexibility and Unemployment : the Keynesian Perspective Revisited," Sciences Po publications 2001-02, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/6763
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Claude d'Aspremont & Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira & Louis-André Gérard-Varet, 1990. "On Monopolistic Competition and Involuntary Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 895-919.
    2. Oliver Hart, 1982. "A Model of Imperfect Competition with Keynesian Features," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(1), pages 109-138.
    3. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
    4. Hicks, John, 2017. "A Market Theory of Money," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198796237.
    5. Francesco Saraceno, 2003. "Wage Regimes, Accumulation and Finance Constraints: Keynesian Unemployment Revisited," Macroeconomics 0311007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Dreze, Jacques H., 1997. "Walras--Keynes equilibria coordination and macroeconomics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1735-1762, December.
    7. Silvestre, Joaquim, 1993. "The Market-Power Foundations of Macroeconomic Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 105-141, March.
    8. Axel Leijonhufvud, 2000. "Macroeconomic Instability and Coordination," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 750.
    9. Amendola, Mario & Gaffard, Jean-Luc, 1998. "Out of Equilibrium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293804.
    10. James Tobin, 1993. "Price Flexibility and Output Stability: An Old Keynesian View," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 45-65, Winter.
    11. Hicks, J R, 1970. "A Neo-Austrian Growth Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(318), pages 257-281, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Amendola & Jean-Luc Gaffard, 2010. "Unemployment as a Disequilibrium Phenomenon: the economics of Keynes and how to go ahead from Patinkin, Leijonhufvud and Hicks," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2010-24, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    2. Jean-Luc Gaffard, 2013. "La macroéconomie à l'épreuve des faits," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 57-103.
    3. Jean-Luc Gaffard, 2008. "Innovation, competition, and growth: Schumpeterian ideas within a Hicksian framework," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 295-311, August.
    4. Mario Amendola & Francesco Vona, 2012. "Coordinating the accumulation of physical and human capital in different institutional settings," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(7), pages 631-653, October.
    5. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Eloi Laurent, 2008. "North by Northwest: What’s Wrong with the French Model and How Can the Nordic Model Help," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-18, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    6. Jean-Luc Gaffard & Francesco Saraceno, 2007. "Échange international et distorsions internes. Comment gouverner la globalisation ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 205-221.
    7. Jean-Luc Gaffard & Francesco Saraceno, 2007. "International Trade and Domestic Distortions: Modelling the Transition Process," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-18, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    8. Petra Marotzke & Robert Anderton & Ana Bairrao & Clémence Berson & Peter Tóth, 2016. "Wage adjustment and employment in Europe," Discussion Papers 2016-19, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    9. Mario Amendola & Jean-Luc Gaffard & Francesco Saraceno, 2012. "Production Process Heterogeneity, Time to Build, and Macroeconomic Performance," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 263-294.
    10. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p4sqhi4gm is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Francesco Saraceno, 2003. "Wage Regimes, Accumulation and Finance Constraints: Keynesian Unemployment Revisited," Macroeconomics 0311007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Mauro Napoletano & Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2012. "Wage Formation, Investment Behavior and Growth Regimes: An Agent-Based Analysis," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 235-261.
    13. Mauro Napoletano, 2017. "A Short Walk on the Wild Side: Agent-Based Models and their Implications for Macroeconomic Analysis," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-40, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    14. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Eloi Laurent, 2009. "Macroeconomic and social policies in the EU 15: the last two decades," Sciences Po publications 2009-21, Sciences Po.
    15. Jean-Luc Gaffard & Francesco Saraceno, 2012. "International trade and domestic distortions," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 275-301, April.
    16. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1umfa09l8sci08kj is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:spr:joevec:v:27:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00191-017-0494-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/1261 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Mario Amendola & Jean-Luc Gaffard & Fabrizio Patriarca, 2017. "Inequality and growth: the perverse relation between the productive and the non-productive assets of the economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 531-554, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coordination; Unemployment; Wage Rigidity; Keynesian Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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