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Trend inflation as a workers’ discipline device

Giovanni Di Bartolomeo (), Patrizio Tirelli () and Nicola Acocella

Empirica, 2013, vol. 40, issue 2, 215-235

Abstract: The paper shows that a monetary policy regime that allows for a positive inflation rate disciplines monopolistic wages setters if these, when setting contracts, internalize the consequences of their choices for economic outcomes over the life of the contract. We also show that discretionary monetary policy has real effects when wage setters are non atomistic, whereas commitment to a positive inflation rate is effective irrespective of the degree of labor market centralization. Finally, the model may explain the different unemployment dynamics in Europe and in the United States, following the 1980 disinflationary episode. Our approach suggests that disinflation induced an adverse effect on the labor market wedge and that such effect was stronger in Europe, due to the particular importance of large wage setters. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Keywords: Inflation bias; Discretionary monetary policy; Non-zero inflation targeting; Unemployment; Strategic wage setters; E52; E58; J51; E24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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