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The Phillips Curve and NAIRU Revisited: New Estimates for Germany

  • Fitzenberger, Bernd
  • Franz, Wolfgang
  • Bode, Oliver

This paper provides new estimates of a time?varying NAIRU for Germany taking account of the structural break caused by German unification based on the Kalman Filter and on a partially linear model as two alternatives. Estimating a standard Phillips curve, the sum of coefficients associated with expected inflation is far beyond unity, whatever measure of expected inflation rates is employed. Therefore, either the NAIRU concept is not applicable to Germany or, as it is our suggestion, one estimates the unemployment rate that is compatible with a tolerable inflation rate of say 2 percent following roughly the inflation target put forward by the European Central Bank. The estimates presented in this paper suggest that the NAIRU compatible with 2 percent inflation in Germany is currently around 7 percent if the definition of unemployment follows the concept of the ILO. In contrast to the consensus in the literature, our estimates suggest furthermore that the NAIRU in Germany has not increased since the early 1990?s.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 07-070.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:6890
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  1. Sbordone, Argia M., 2002. "Prices and unit labor costs: a new test of price stickiness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 265-292, March.
  2. Wolfgang Franz, 2005. "Will the (German) NAIRU Please Stand Up?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 131-153, 05.
  3. Marika Karanassou & Dennis J. Snower, 2002. "An Anatomy of the Phillips Curve," Working Papers 478, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  4. Bernd Fitzenberger & Wolfgang Franz & Oliver Bode, 2007. "The Phillips Curve and NAIRU Revisited: New Estimates for Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1344, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Franz, Wolfgang & Gordon, Robert J, 1993. "German and American Wage and Price Dynamics: Differences and Common Themes," CEPR Discussion Papers 777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
  8. George A. Akerlof, 2002. "Behavioral Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 411-433, June.
  9. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C45-61, May.
  10. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, J. David, 2001. "European inflation dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1237-1270.
  11. Schreiber, Sven & Wolters, Jurgen, 2007. "The long-run Phillips curve revisited: Is the NAIRU framework data-consistent?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 355-367, June.
  12. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Franz, Wolfgang & Gordon, Robert J., 1993. "German and American wage and price dynamics: Differences and common themes," Discussion Papers 2, University of Konstanz, Center for International Labor Economics (CILE).
  14. Christian Schumacher, 2008. "Measuring uncertainty of the euro area NAIRU: Monte Carlo and empirical evidence for alternative confidence intervals in a state space framework," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 357-379, March.
  15. Fabiani, Silvia & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "A system approach for measuring the euro area NAIRU," Working Paper Series 0065, European Central Bank.
  16. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
  17. Camille Logeay & Silke Tober, 2006. "Hysteresis And The Nairu In The Euro Area," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(4), pages 409-429, 09.
  18. Thomas Laubach, 1997. "Measuring the NAIRU : evidence from seven economies," Research Working Paper 97-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  19. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-54, July.
  20. Timothy Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2006. "Trend inflation and inflation persistence in the New Keynesian Phillips curve," Staff Reports 270, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  21. Joseph Stiglitz, 1997. "Reflections on the Natural Rate Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 3-10, Winter.
  22. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
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