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Inflation and labor market flexibility: The squeaky wheel gets the grease

  • Loboguerrero, Ana Maria
  • Panizza, Ugo

Inflation can "grease" the wheels of the labor market by relaxing downward wage rigidity but it can also increase uncertainty and have a negative "sand" effect. This paper studies the grease effect of inflation by looking at whether the interaction between inflation and labor market regulations affects how employment responds to changes in output. The results show that in industrial countries with highly regulated labor markets, the grease effect of inflation dominates the sand effect. In the case of developing countries, we rarely find a significant effect of inflation or labor market regulations and provide evidence indicating that this could be due to the presence of a large informal sector and limited enforcement of de jure labor market regulations.

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Paper provided by Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS in its series POLIS Working Papers with number 63.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:63
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  8. Erica Groshen & Mark Schweitzer, 1999. "Identifying Inflation's Grease and Sand Effects in the Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: The Costs and Benefits of Price Stability, pages 273-314 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1996. "The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?," Staff Reports 9, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2000), pages 109-154, August.
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  16. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1996. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Working Papers 5538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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