The Responses of Wages and Prices to Technology Shocks

Authors

Rochelle M. Edge

Thomas Laubach

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2003-21 | December 1, 2003

This paper reexamines wage and price dynamics in response to permanent shocks to productivity. We estimate a micro-founded dynamic general equilibrium (DGE) model of the U.S. economy with sticky wages and sticky prices using impulse responses to technology and monetary policy shocks. We utilize a flexible specification for wage- and price-setting that allows for the sluggish adjustment of both the levels of these variables as in standard contracting models as well as intrinsic inertia in wage and price inflation. On the price front, we find that in our VAR inflation jumps in response to an identified permanent technology shock, implying that, on average, prices adjust quickly and that there is little evidence for any intrinsic inflation inertia like that commonly found in models used for monetary policy evaluation. On the wage front, we find evidence for significant inertia in wages and some intrinsic inertia in nominal wage inflation. Our results provide support for the standard sticky-price specification of the New Keynesian model; however, the evidence on the high degree of wage inertia presents a challenge for standard models of wage setting.

Article Citation

Williams, John C., Rochelle M. Edge, and Thomas Laubach. 2003. “The Responses of Wages and Prices to Technology Shocks,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2003-21. Available at https://doi.org/10.24148/wp2003-21

About the Author
John C. Williams served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from March 1, 2011 to June 17, 2018. Dr. Williams was previously the executive vice president and director of research for the San Francisco bank, which he joined in 2002. He began his career in 1994 as an […] Learn more about John C. Williams