Discussion paper

DP18542 Sticky Prices or Sticky Wages? An Equivalence Result

We show an equivalence result in the standard representative agent New Keynesian model after demand shocks: assuming sticky prices and flexible wages yields identical allocations for GDP, consumption, labor, inflation and interest rates to the opposite case—flexible prices and sticky wages. This equivalence result arises if the price and wage Phillips curves' slopes are identical and generalizes to any pair of price and wage Phillips curve slopes such that their sum and product are identical. Nevertheless, the cyclical implications for profits and wages are substantially different. We discuss how the equivalence breaks when these factor-distributional implications matter for aggregate allocations, e.g. in New Keynesian models with heterogeneous agents, endogenous firm entry, and non-constant returns to scale in production.


Bilbiie, F and M Trabandt (2023), ‘DP18542 Sticky Prices or Sticky Wages? An Equivalence Result‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18542. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18542