How Much Inflation is Necessary to Grease the Wheels?


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  • This paper studies Tobin's proposition that inflation greases the wheels of the labor market. The analysis is carried out using a simple dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with asymmetric wage adjustment costs. Optimal inflation is determined by a benevolent government that maximizes the households' welfare. The Simulated Method of Moments is used to estimate the nonlinear model based on its second-order approximation. Econometric results indicate that nominal wages are downwardly rigid and that the optimal level of grease inflation for the U.S. economy is about 1.2 percent per year, with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 0.2 to 1.6 percent.

fecha de publicación

  • 2007

Líneas de investigación

  • Asymmetric Adjustment Costs
  • Inflation
  • Nonlinear Dynamics


  • octubre 2007