The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Using quarterly time-series data for a sample of twelve industrial countries, the paper investigates the dynamics of nominal wage and price adjustments in the face of aggregate demand shocks. The evidence illustrates patterns of the wage-price spiral and accompanying fluctuations. During economic expansions, the overlap of nominal adjustments in labor and product markets prolongs output expansion while maintaining or increasing the standard of living. In contrast, structural and institutional settings appear to have moderated the severity of the effects of contractionary demand shocks on real output growth and the standard of living in the variety of countries under investigation.