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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. Wolfgang Franz & Robert J. Gordon, 1993. "German and American Wage and Price Dynamics: Differences and Common Thenes," NBER Working Papers 4292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 199822, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1996. "How Precise are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Working Papers 5477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2000. "European Inflation Dynamics," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0020, Banco de Espa�a.
  6. Thomas Laubach, 2001. "Measuring The NAIRU: Evidence From Seven Economies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 218-231, May.
  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. Franz, Wolfgang, 2003. "Will the (German) NAIRU Please Stand up?," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-35, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Bernd Fitzenberger & Wolfgang Franz & Oliver Bode, 2008. "The Phillips Curve and NAIRU Revisited: New Estimates for Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 228(5+6), pages 465-496, December.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  13. Snower, Dennis J. & Karanassou, Marika, 2002. "An Anatomy of the Phillips Curve," IZA Discussion Papers 635, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-54, July.
  15. Fabiani, Silvia & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "A system approach for measuring the euro area NAIRU," Working Paper Series 0065, European Central Bank.
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. Akerlof, George A., 2001. "Behavioral Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Behavior," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2001-4, Nobel Prize Committee.
  19. Joseph Stiglitz, 1997. "Reflections on the Natural Rate Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 3-10, Winter.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  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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