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Asymmetric impact of exchange rate pass-through into employees' wages in sub-Saharan Africa: panel non-linear threshold estimation

Idris Abdullahi Abdulqadir and Soo Y. Chua

Journal of Economic Studies, 2020, vol. 47, issue 7, 1629-1647

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this article is to investigate the asymmetric impact of exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) on employees' wages via consumer prices in 15 major oil-exporting countries from sub-Saharan Africa over the period 1996-2017 using the panel threshold regression model. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology used in this article was built on non-linear panel threshold regression models developed by Hansen (1996, 1999) threshold regression. The authors first tested for the existence of threshold-effect in ERPT and wage nexus using 1,000 bootstrap replications and 400 grid searches to obtain an optimal threshold. We also estimated that asymmetric ERPT on employees' wages reacts differently when the inflation-threshold exceeds beyond a 15.12% threshold level. Findings - Our findings showed that asymmetric ERPT is incomplete and indicates that an increase by one standard deviation in real exchange rate causes a decline in employees' wages by 2.69%. Research limitations/implications - The policy implications of our results are drawn from the significant threshold estimates. However, a significant threshold value of 15.12 is an inflation-threshold estimates that split our 330 observations into the lower (upper) regimes. Further, an inflation rate beyond the threshold value is likely to have an asymmetric ERPT on employees' wages in the 15 major oil-exporting sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Practical implications - The practical implication of the study is when ERPT exceeds the threshold, the effect of real exchange rate variations is passed on to employees' wages. It is widely believed that labor productivity increase with increased minimum wages. Nevertheless, there is contention as regards the effects on employment and poverty. As rising goods prices make the minimum wage increased homogeneous of degree zero. Social implications - Considerable increased ERPT on imported goods reduces employees' wages purchasing ability from import-dependent countries through import prices. Once it has documented, this also reduces welfare via deteriorations of marginal propensity to consume (MPC) and marginal propensity to savings (MPS). Originality/value - This article integrates labor purchasing power into the analysis of ERPT using non-linear dynamic panel heterogeneous threshold regression. It extends the Hansen (1996, 1999) dynamic panel threshold models to exchange rate pass-through in SSA economies.

Keywords: Wages; Asymmetry; Inflation-thresholds; Real exchange rate; Consumer price; Panel threshold model; C51; E31; O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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