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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. Martin Uribe & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2012. "Pegs and Pain," 2012 Meeting Papers 303, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Christopher J. Erceg & Jesper Linde, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation in an Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 186-91, May.
  3. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," International Finance Discussion Papers 640, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. 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.
  5. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2010. "Labor Markets and Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-30, April.
  6. Monacelli, Tommaso, 2004. "Into the Mussa puzzle: monetary policy regimes and the real exchange rate in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 191-217, January.
  7. 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).
  8. Bianca De Paoli, 2004. "Monetary policy and welfare in a small open economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19950, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  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. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," NBER Technical Working Papers 0282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  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.
  15. Eggertsson, Gauti & Ferrero, Andrea & Raffo, Andrea, 2014. "Can structural reforms help Europe?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 2-22.
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