IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/ifwedp/7335.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Inflation Targeting Is a Success, So Far: 100 Years of Evidence from Swedish Wage Contracts

Author

Listed:
  • Fregert, Klas
  • Jonung, Lars

Abstract

Inflation targeting was adopted by several countries, including Sweden, in the 1990s. We evaluate the Swedish inflation targeting regime since 1995 using a novel approach based on a unique data set on the characteristics of collective wage agreements between 1908 and 2008. First, we establish that the length of wage contracts decreases in response to an increase in ?macroeconomic uncertainty? across policy regimes. Second, using contract length as the assessment criteria for regime performance, we find that the inflation targeting regime of 1995?2008 stands out as an exceptionally stable policy regime as judged by the willingness of wage contract-makers to repeatedly commit to three-year non-indexed wage agreements. In addition, inflation targeting gained instant credibility in the sense that the labor market organizations entered long-term wage agreements at the same time as this new regime was announced. Inflation targeting has thus reduced macroeconomic uncertainty compared to previous regimes adopted in Sweden during the 20th century. Our approach to evaluate inflation targeting is different from the traditional one commonly based on cross-section samples comparing inflation outcomes. Instead we focus on the actual decisions of private-sector wage setters under different monetary regimes. Judging from their behavior across a century of observations, inflation targeting in Sweden is a success – at least so far.

Suggested Citation

  • Fregert, Klas & Jonung, Lars, 2008. "Inflation Targeting Is a Success, So Far: 100 Years of Evidence from Swedish Wage Contracts," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-24, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:7335
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2008-24
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/17996/1/dp2008-24.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lars Calmfors & Asa Johansson, 2006. "Nominal Wage Flexibility, Wage Indexation and Monetary Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 283-308, January.
    2. Groth, Charlotta & Johansson, Asa, 2004. "Bargaining structure and nominal wage flexibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1349-1365, December.
    3. Robert Rich & Joseph Tracy, 2004. "Uncertainty and Labor Contract Durations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 270-287, February.
    4. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    5. Fethke, Gary C & Policano, Andrew J, 1981. "Cooperative Responses by Public and Private Agents to Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(190), pages 155-171, May.
    6. Lennart Erixon, 2008. "The Swedish third way: an assessment of the performance and validity of the Rehn--Meidner model," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 367-393, May.
    7. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234 Elsevier.
    8. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2004. "Why the Federal Reserve Should Not Adopt Inflation Targeting," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 129-136, March.
    9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Two Illustrations of the Quantity Theory of Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1005-1014, December.
    10. Lin, Shu & Ye, Haichun, 2007. "Does inflation targeting really make a difference? Evaluating the treatment effect of inflation targeting in seven industrial countries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2521-2533, November.
    11. Stanley Fischer, 1984. "Contracts, Credibility, and Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 1339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Klepper, Steven & Leamer, Edward E, 1984. "Consistent Sets of Estimates for Regressions with Errors in All Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 163-183, January.
    13. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1979. "Wage Indexing Rules and the Behavior of the Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 798-815, August.
    14. Christofides, Louis N. & Peng, Chen, 2006. "Contract duration and indexation in a period of real and nominal uncertainty," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 61-86, February.
    15. Steven Klepper & Edward E. Leamer, 1982. "Consistent Sets of Estimates," UCLA Economics Working Papers 282, UCLA Department of Economics.
    16. Gray, Jo Anna, 1978. "On Indexation and Contract Length," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, February.
    17. Rose, Andrew K. & Mihov, Ilian, 2008. "Is Old Money Better than New? Duration and Monetary Regimes," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-24.
    18. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Torsten, 1988. "Exchange rate policy, wage formation and credibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1621-1636, October.
    19. Berg, Claes & Jonung, Lars, 1999. "Pioneering price level targeting: The Swedish experience 1931-1937," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 525-551, June.
    20. Murphy, Kevin J., 2000. "What effect does uncertainty have on the length of labor contracts?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-201, March.
    21. Jonung, Lars, 1979. "Knut wicksell's norm of price stabilization and Swedish monetary policy in the 1930's," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 459-496, October.
    22. Edwin M. Truman, 2003. "Inflation Targeting in the World Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 346.
    23. McCallum, John, 1983. "Stabilization Policy and Endogenous Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 414-419, June.
    24. Burdekin,Richard C. K. & Siklos,Pierre L. (ed.), 2004. "Deflation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521837996, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11159 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Creel, Jérôme & Hubert, Paul, 2015. "Has Inflation Targeting Changed The Conduct Of Monetary Policy?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(01), pages 1-21, January.
    3. Sanvi Avouyi-Dovi & Denis Fougère & Erwan Gautier, 2013. "Wage Rigidity, Collective Bargaining, and the Minimum Wage: Evidence from French Agreement Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 1337-1351.
    4. Bertil Holmlund, 2013. "Wage and employment determination in volatile times: Sweden 1913-1939," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), pages 131-159.
    5. Creel, Jérôme & Hubert, Paul, 2012. "Constrained discretion in Sweden," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-44.
    6. Jonung, Lars, 2009. "Financial Crisis and Crisis Management in Sweden. Lessons for Today," ADBI Working Papers 165, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    7. Andersson, Fredrik N. G. & Jonung, Lars, 2017. "How Tolerant Should Inflation-Targeting Central Banks Be? Selecting the Proper Tolerance Band - Lessons from Sweden," Working Papers 2017:2, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    8. Erixon, Lennart, 2011. "Under the influence of traumatic events, new ideas, economic experts and the ICT revolution - the economic policy and macroeconomic performance of Sweden in the 1990s and 2000s," Research Papers in Economics 2011:25, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    9. Lars Jonung & Jaakko Kiander & Pentti Vartia, 2008. "The great financial crisis in Finland and Sweden - The dynamics of boom, bust and recovery, 1985-2000," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 350, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    10. Andersson, Fredrik N. G. & Jonung, Lars, 2014. "The Return of the Original Phillips curve? An Assessment of Lars E. O. Svensson's Critique of the Riksbank's Inflation Targeting, 1997-2012," Working Papers 2014:28, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 10 Dec 2015.
    11. Paul Hubert, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Imperfect Information and the Expectations Channel," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1u, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation targeting; policy regime; contract length; wage indexation; Lucas critique; Sweden; credibility;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:7335. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iwkiede.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.