Pecuniary externalities in economies with downward wage rigidity

Martin Wolf

Publications: Working paper


We describe a pecuniary externality in economies with downward nominal wage rigidity that leads firms to hire too many workers in expansions, which leads to too much unemployment in recessions. The externality arises because of competitive behavior in the labor market. When firms hire more workers, they push up market wages for all firms. Firms internalize that with higher wages, it is more likely that they will be constrainedby downward nominal wage rigidity in the future themselves; however, they fail to internalize the negative effects over other firms. In the calibrated model, when compared to a benevolent planner who chooses labor allocations on behalf of firms, the externality raises the welfare cost of downward nominal wage rigidity by a factor of 10, as it makes the economy significantly more exposed to unemployment crises.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages67
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Publication series

SeriesVienna Economics Papers

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 502018 Macroeconomics

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