Inflation, Nominal Wage Rigidity, and the Efficiency of Labor Markets
Posted: 25 Jun 1998
Date Written: October 1995
If nominal wages cannot fall, then positive inflation may facilitate real wage adjustment. We examine data on individuals' wage changes and find only limited evidence of such downward nominal rigidity. The shape of the distribution of wage changes is little affected by the rate of inflation. About 8 percent of job stayers have zero nominal wage change, but we estimate that less than half of that spike represents truncation associated with downward nominal rigidity. We estimate that reducing inflation from four percent to zero would result in an additional 1/2 to 1 3/4 percent of peoplehaving constrained wages because of downward nominal rigidity, and our estimates of the associated welfare loss center on about five-hundredths of a percent of aggregate output.
JEL Classification: E31, J30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation