Inflation and Growth in the Long Run: A New Keynesian Theory and Further Semiparametric Evidence
This paper explores the influence of inflation on economic growth both theoretically and empirically. We propose to merge an endogenous growth model of learning by doing with a New Keynesian one with sticky wages. We show that the intertemporal elasticity of substitution of working time is a key parameter for the shape of the inflation-growth nexus. When it is set equal to zero, the inflation-growth nexus is weak and hump-shaped. When it is greater than zero, inflation has a sizeable and negative effect on growth. Endogenizing the length of wage contracts does not lead to inflation superneutrality in presence of a fixed cost to wage resetting. Once adopting various semiparametric and instrumental variable estimation approaches on a cross-country/time-series dataset, we show that increasing inflation reduces real economic growth, consistently with our theoretical model with a positive intertemporal elasticity of substitution of working time.