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CEP discussion paper
Search Frictions, Real Rigidities and Inflation Dynamics
Carlos Thomas
August 2007
Paper No' CEPDP0822:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: E52; E32; J40

Tags: new keynesian; macroeconomics; micro data; inflation; search and matching

The standard New Keynesian model suffers from the so-called .macro-micro pricing conflict: in order to match the dynamics of inflation implied by macroeconomic data, the model needs to assume an average duration of price contracts which is much longer than what is observed in micro data. Here I show how departing from the standard model’s assumption of a perfectly competitive labor market can help resolve the pricing conflict. I do so by assuming search frictions in the labor market. In this framework, labor becomes firm-specific and marginal cost curves become upward-sloping. This mechanism reduces the slope of the New Keynesian Phillips curve given a frequency of price adjustment. Conversely, given an estimate of this slope, my model implies shorter price durations than the standard model. For a plausible calibration and for different slope values, my model consistently delivers price durations that are roughly half of those implied by the standard model.