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.
Emerging economies are characterized by higher consumption and real wage variability relative to output and a strongly countercyclical current account. A real business cycle model of a small open economy that embeds a Mortensen-Pissarides type of search-matching frictions and countercyclical interest rate shocks can jointly account for these regularities. In the face of countercyclical interest rate shocks, search-matching frictions increase future employment uncertainty, improving workers' incentive to save and generating a greater response of consumption and the current account. Higher consumption response in turn feeds into larger fluctuations in the workers' bargaining power while the interest rates shocks lead to variations in the firms' willingness to hire; both of which contribute to a highly variable real wage.