The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper provides new empirical evidence on the degree of nominal wage flexibility in a sample of nineteen industrial countries. Across countries, aggregate uncertainty increases the degree of wage flexibility in the face of various shocks. Wage flexibility stabilizes fluctuations in real output and guarantees workers a higher real standard of living in response to aggregate demand shocks. Wage flexibility in response to energy price shocks guarantees workers higher real wages without exacerbating price inflation or output contraction. Nominal wage inflation decreases in response to productivity shocks, reinforcing output expansion.