Efficiency Wages, Increasing Returns and Endogenous Fluctuations
This work studies the implications of efficiency wages, indivisible labour and increasing returns to endogenously create time series for real wages and employment exhibiting persistent fluctuations with a cyclical behavioiur similar to the one empirically observed. Our first result relates to the effects of introducing efficiency wages into a general equilibrium model. We show that this real wage rigidity can indeed explain involuntary unemployment but cannot affect the dynamical properties of an economic system. Hence, the remaining of the paper concerns basically to the role of indivisible labour and increasing returns to the occurrence of endogenous fluctuations. Our main results are: (i) when both constant returns and a standard elasticity of labour supply are considered, a small substitutability between factors is needed to generate endogenous fluctuations; this is just a replication of Reichlin (1986); (ii) the introduction of increasing returns is able to establish the possibility of endogenous fluctuations, even when the elasticity of inputs substitution is relatively large; but as in Cazzavilan et al (1998), the amount of increasing returns necessary to get this result is still large; (iii) the introduction of the indivisible labour hypothesis can generate endogenous fluctuations with both an elasticity of inputs substitution and an amount of increasing returns in consonance with empiricial evidence. Moreover, in this latter case we replicate two labour market regularities not usually captured by general equilibrium models: 1) employment is more volatile than real wages and 2) real wages are acyclical.
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