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Macroeconomic implications of downward wage rigidities

  • Fahr Staphen
  • Abbritti Mirko

Growth of wages, unemployment, employment and vacancies exhibit strong asymmetries between expansionary and contractionary phases. In this paper we analyze to what degree downward wage rigidities in the bargaining process aect other variables of the economy. We introduce asymmetric wage adjustment costs in a New-Keynesian DSGE model with search and matching frictions in the labor market. We nd that the presence of downward wage rigidities strongly improves the t of the model to the skewness of variables and the relative length of expansionary and contractionary phases even when detrending the data. Due to the asymmetry, wages increase more easily in expansions, which limits vacancy posting and employment creation, similar to the exible wage case. During contractions nominal wages decrease slowly, shifting the main burden of adjustment to employment and hours worked. The asymmetry also explains the diering transmission of positive and negative demand shocks from wages to ination. Downward wage rigidities help explaining the asymmetric business cycle of many OECD countries where long and smooth expansions with low growth rates are followed by sharp but short recessions with large negative growth rates.

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Paper provided by Department of Communication, University of Teramo in its series wp.comunite with number 0088.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ter:wpaper:0088
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