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Understanding the gains from wage flexibility: The exchange rate connection

We study the gains from increased wage flexibility using a small open economy model with staggered price and wage setting. Two results stand out: (i) the effectiveness of labor cost adjustments on employment is much smaller in a currency union, (ii) an increase in wage flexibility often reduces welfare, more likely so in an economy that is part of a currency union or with an exchange rate-focused monetary policy. Our findings call into question the common view that wage flexibility is particularly desirable in a currency union.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1408.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision: Jun 2016
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1408
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2008. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New-Keynesian Model with Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Erceg, Christopher & Lindé, Jesper, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation in an Open Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Barattieri, Alessandro & Basu, Susanto & Gottschalk, Peter T., 2010. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 5039, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Tommaso Monacelli, 1999. "Into the Mussa Puzzle: Monetary Policy Regimes and the Real Exchange Rate in a Small Open Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 437, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Sep 2000.
  6. De Paoli, Bianca, 2009. "Monetary policy and welfare in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 11-22, February.
  7. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
  8. Campolmi, Alessia, 2014. "Which Inflation To Target? A Small Open Economy With Sticky Wages," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 145-174, January.
  9. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. ""New" views on the optimum currency area theory: what is EMU telling us?," Working Paper Series 0138, European Central Bank.
  10. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 707-734.
  11. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Andrea Ferrero & Andrea Raffo, 2013. "Can structural reforms help Europe?," International Finance Discussion Papers 1092, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  14. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
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