INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT VARIABILITY AND REAL WAGE FLUCTUATIONS: DETERMINANTS AND IMPLICATIONS

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Abstract

The cyclical behavior of the real wage differentiates between the empirical validity of major new Keynesian sticky-wage and sticky-price explanations of business cycles. Across industries of the United States, an increase in price flexibility relative to wage flexibility correlates with a reduction in output fluctuations in the face of demand shocks. Further, industrial real output variability does not vary significantly with nominal wage flexibility. In contrast, an increase in price flexibility moderates industrial real output variability. Consistently, an increase in the real wage response to demand shocks correlates with an increase in industrial output variability. (JEL E32, E31)

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