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 AJIBM  Vol.8 No.8 , August 2018
Is There a Productivity Puzzle in the OECD Economies?1 Or Why Has Economic Recovery Since the Great Financial Crisis Not Produced Increased Inflation?
Abstract: This paper investigates whether there has been a structural shift in inflation since a recovery began in the OECD economies. For policy purposes, it is important to be sure that such shifts are significant statistically, are likely to be sustained over the near future and be evenly distributed over the member economies so that no one of them is damaged by anti-inflation measures taken to help others. We approach the problem in two steps: first we examine the circumstantial and informal evidence, and then conduct formal statistical tests for structural changes in euro area inflation in 2015-2016. We find no evidence of a structural change. An even distribution of inflation criterion is the closest to being satisfied, but the other two are far from satisfied in any formal sense. The question remains: why has there been no inflation in the recovery since 2014? To answer that question, we demonstrate how low growth in real wages and self-reinforcing low productivity growth produces slow output growth and low inflation; and how low real wages and productivity in turn lead to low investment. This model fits the data well, down to the lack of labour and total factor productivity, and to the substitution of cheaper labour for excess capital stock. It implies a fall in investment spending (also seen in the data) that extends the period for which the low productivity-low inflation outcomes apply.
Cite this paper: Hughes Hallett, A. (2018) Is There a Productivity Puzzle in the OECD Economies?1 Or Why Has Economic Recovery Since the Great Financial Crisis Not Produced Increased Inflation?. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 8, 1789-1805. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2018.88121.
References

[1]   Eurostat (2018) Euro Area Annual Inflation and its Main Components (%), December 2015-November 2017.
http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=File

[2]   Eurostat (2018) Euro Area Annual Inflation and its Main Components (%), January 2011-November 2017.
http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=File

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[5]   BBC (2018) UK Shifts into Less Productive Work. BBC, London.

[6]   The Economist Newspaper (2018) Fix Up, Look Sharp. The Economist Newspaper, London.

[7]   Harris, R.G. (2002) Asymmetric Shocks and Productivity Dynamics in Core-Periphery Monetary Unions. Conference on “Euro and Dollarisation: Forms of Monetary Union in Integrating Regions”, New York City, April 2002. [An Earlier Version “Is There a Case for Exchange Rate Induced Productivity Changes?” Discussion Paper 0110, Centre for International Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia].

[8]   Council of Economic Advisors (2008) Chapter 2, First Annual Report, Scottish Government.
https://www.gov.scot/

[9]   Hughes Hallett, A, (2016) Implications for Scotland Leaving the EU—The Economic Perspective. Expert Witness Presentations to UK and Scottish Parliaments (September and October). Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, and House of Commons, London.

[10]   Hughes Hallett, A., Jensen, S.E.H., Sveinssen, T. and Viera, F. (2017) Sustainable Fiscal Strategies under Changing Demographics. European Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming.

 
 
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