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Friday, February 17, 2017

NAIRU Bashing

Simon Wren-Lewis:

NAIRU bashing: The NAIRU is the level of unemployment at which inflation is stable. Ever since economists invented the concept people have poked fun at how difficult to measure and elusive the NAIRU appears to be, and these articles often end with the proclamation that it is time we ditched the concept. Even good journalists can do it. But few of these attempts to trash the NAIRU answer a very simple and obvious question - how else do we link the real economy to inflation? ...
The NAIRU is one of those economic concepts which is essential to understand the economy but is extremely difficult to measure. ...
While we should not be obsessed by the 1970s, we should not wipe it from our minds either. Then policy makers did in effect ditch the NAIRU, and we got uncomfortably high inflation. In 1980 in the US and UK policy changed and increased unemployment, and inflation fell. There is a relationship between inflation and unemployment, but it is just very difficult to pin down. For most macroeconomists, the concept of the NAIRU really just stands for that basic macroeconomic truth. ...

    Posted by on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 11:41 AM in Economics, Macroeconomics, Methodology | Permalink  Comments (87)


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