Can Inflation Bring Down Unemployment

“ Unemployment and rising prices still preoccupy and perplex economic experts, solons, journalists, homemakers, and everyone else… ”

James Tobin


Stable rising prices and full employment is two chief ends of any cardinal bank ‘s docket and so is the instance with State Bank of Pakistan. Inflation is defined as “ any addition in the money supply greater than an addition in coinage ” ( Rothbard 2004, p. 1021 ) . For the interest of convenience nevertheless, the latter will be referred to as pecuniary rising prices and the more general significance of rising prices as a rise in the monetary value degree will be used throughout the treatment. Full employment is a state of affairs which occurs when “ the unemployment rate peers the natural rate of unemployment – when all unemployment is frictional and structural and there is no cyclical unemployment ” .

The chance of this survey is to see whether or non the state of affairs of Pakistan increasing rising prices is related to her current rate of unemployment. In the past old ages, rising prices is demoing different tendencies, increasing and so diminishing. The highest, 13.0, was in FY 1994-95 and lowest, 3.1, in FY 2002-03. The consequence, or non, of these tendencies on employment is to be studied, calculated and analyzed. For this intent, we are traveling to utilize a delicate relationship between rising prices and unemployment that was studied sporadically by A. W. Phillips in 1958 and his followings.


The New Zealand economic expert Alban W. Phillips, in his 1958 paper “ The relationship between unemployment and the rate of alteration of money rewards in the UK 1861-1957 ” published in Economica, observed an opposite relationship between money pay alterations and unemployment in the British economic system over the period examined. From the observation, he found that one stable curve represented the tradeoff between money rewards and unemployment. Simply stated, the lower the unemployment in an economic system, the higher the rate of alteration in rewards paid to labour in that economic system.

W. Phillips findings can be described briefly as

From informations, he concluded that there is a tradeoff between unemployment rate ( U ) and money pay rising prices ( W ) .

Trade-off has an anticlockwise cringle. He found a non-linear negative relationship between W and U. In good times when unemployment is really low, money pay rate rises at a higher rate. On the other manus, in times of hardship, when unemployment is really high, money pay rate will alter at a lower rate.

In 1960, economic experts Robert Solow and Paul Samuelson elaborated on Phillip ‘s theoretical account and made clear an expressed nexus between rising prices and unemployment demoing a typical Phillips curve that ‘s fitted to the information for the USA between the old ages 1961-69. Because mean rising prices was really low and close to zero during much of the period analyzed by Solow et Al, pay compositors assumed that ( expected ) rising prices would be nothing, so equation was applicable. The variable i?°t and ut refer to rising prices and unemployment in twelvemonth T severally. While i?­ and are invariables that refer to the markup of monetary values over rewards and a ‘catch-all ‘ variable, severally. While i?? is a positive parametric quantity that captures the consequence on the rising prices rate of the unemployment rate, given expected rising prices ( Blanchard & A ; Sheen 2004 ) .

What this means is that “ given the expected monetary value degree, which workers merely take to be last twelvemonth ‘s monetary value degree, unemployment leads to a higher nominal pay ” . That higher pay later leads to a higher monetary value degree ad infinitum. This is what ‘s known as the wage-price spiral ( ibid ) . So it was postulated that an addition in rising prices will be a lasting fixture if unemployment is to be reduced and so both have an opposite relationship. This is shown in the figure.

The downward sloping curve shows that, in theory, there is an reverse relationship between rising prices and unemployment. For illustration, after the economic system has merely been in recession, the unemployment degree will be reasonably high. This will intend that there is a labour excess. As the economic system grows, the aggregative demand ( AD ) will increase and hence taking to an addition in employment. In the beginning, there will be small force per unit area for a rise in rewards. However, as the economic system grows faster and more people are employed, rewards will easy lift. This will increase the house ‘s cost of production and the high costs are normally passed on to the clients in a signifier of higher monetary values. Therefore a lessening in unemployment has led to an addition in rising prices and frailty versa. Furthermore, unemployed might endure from money semblance as they thought the addition in rewards offered to them represented a existent pay ( Sloman, 2000 ) . They underestimate rising prices by non recognizing that higher rewards will be eaten up by higher monetary values. Thus they will accept occupation more readily and this will cut down the frictional unemployment in the short tally.

From the work of Samuelson and Solow, economic experts postulated that there was a existent tradeoff in relation to rising prices and unemployment which would let them to craft a regular bill of fare of economic policies. If they wanted to cut down unemployment, the economic system would merely hold to endure some rising prices and vice-versa. The Phillips curve was “ accepted as Gospel by the Keynesian economic Constitution ” ( Rothbard 2006 ) .

In the old ages following Phillips ‘ 1958 paper, many economic experts in the advanced industrial states believed that his consequences showed that there was a for good stable relationship between rising prices and unemployment. One deduction of this for authorities policy was that authoritiess could command unemployment and rising prices within a Keynesian policy. They could digest a moderately high rate of rising prices as this would take to take down unemployment – there would be a tradeoff between rising prices and unemployment. For illustration, pecuniary policy and/or financial policy ( i.e. , shortage disbursement ) could be used to excite the economic system, raising gross domestic merchandise and take downing the unemployment rate. Traveling along the Phillips curve, this would take to a higher rising prices rate, the cost of basking lower unemployment rates.

Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps disputed this tradeoff and argued that it was in fact an semblance ( Blanchard et al 2004, pg. 183 ) . They contended that rational employers and workers are merely concerned with existent rewards ( W/P where W is the nominal pay and P the monetary value degree ) . They believed that existent rewards would set to compare the supply of labour to the demand for labour ( Hoover 1993 ) . This would intend that the unemployment rate would settle at a “ natural rate ” of unemployment. Friedman and Phelps ‘s analysis provided for a differentiation between “ short-term ” and “ long-term ” Phillips curves. As a side note, interestingly the celebrated Austrian School economic expert Ludwig von Mises foresaw both the faulty and right theories in 1952. In 1973-75, the so apparently impossible phenomenon of inflationary recession, i.e. stagflation struck, covering a fatal blow to the original Phillips curve and corroborating the contrarian position of Friedman et Al.

The Phillips curve is recovering involvement after a period in disregard and there has been considerable theoretical work proposing a non-linear relationship between rising prices and unemployment. This is so called “ new Philips curve ” . However, the form of non-linearity is equivocal since the different theories yield different non-linear relationships.

In order to prove the being of rising prices and unemployment tradeoff in Pakistan, we will pull strings the expectations-augmented Phillips curve, which is the combination of Short-Run and Long-Run Phillips curve, and do the rate of unemployment the dependant variable.


Study between rising prices and unemployment was besides done by Irving Fischer in 1920s, ( History of Economic Thought n.d. ) , but was non that clear in the kineticss of this relationship. But some believe that the Phillips curve should be called the “ Fisher curve ” .

Samuelson & A ; Solow ( 1960 ) took Phillips ‘ work and made explicit the nexus between rising prices and unemployment-when rising prices was high, unemployment was low, and vice-versa. They named the relationship after A. W. Phillips. Lipsey ( 1960 ) placed importance on Phillips work and showed that the money rewards could be taken besides as monetary value alterations and hence rate of monetary value rising prices was introduced in the Phillips curve.

Friedman ( 1968 ) and Phelps ( 1969 ) independently altered the Walrasian theoretical account to supply monetarist theory of end product finding, which could account for the ascertained short-term Phillips curve. They both mentioned that the curve is possible merely in short tally and non that exploitable. This implied that the unemployment rate could worsen temporarily in response to an addition in the rising prices rate, but unemployment could non be held down by persistently higher rising prices.

Lahiri ( 1977 ) estimated an unobservable-variable theoretical account, to avoid certain jobs associated with the usage of a deterministic distributed slowdown map of past monetary values as an discernible placeholder for inflationary outlooks, which accommodated non merely some mistakes in measuring in the study informations on outlooks but besides the presence of a stochastic mistake term in the distributed slowdown map finding an unobservable variable. She incorporated four hypotheses on outlooks formation, including a new one which is a mixture of both regressive and adaptative elements. The estimated coefficient matching to the price-expectations variable in the Phillips curve was ever more than 0.50.

Mankiw ( 1997 ) besides worked on this theory. He implied that rising prices is inertial and rising prices degrees will stay high until some event additions unemployment above natural unemployment such as a recession or a supply daze. Cyclic unemployment is the divergence of unemployment from the natural rate. An addition in unemployment other than the natural rate causes cyclical unemployment to increase, and as a consequence the rising prices rate is pulled downwards.

Snower & A ; Karanassou ( 2002 ) paper examines how the long-term inflation-unemployment trade-off depends on the grade to which wage-price determinations are backward- versus forward-looking. When economic agents, confronting time-contingent, staggered nominal contracts, have a positive rate of clip penchant, the current pay and monetary value degrees depend more to a great extent on past variables ( e.g. past rewards and monetary values ) than on future variables. Consequently, the long-term Phillips curve becomes declivitous and, so, quit level for plausible parametric quantity values. The paper provides an intuitive history of how this long-term Phillips curve arises.

Ribba ( 2003 ) studied to look into both the short-term and long-term relationship between rising prices and unemployment qualifying the US economic system in the last 30 old ages. To this terminal a co-integrated structural VAR was built. Since unemployment does non do rising prices at frequence zero a recursive construction, with rising prices ordered foremost, allows the designation of a lasting and a transitory daze ( californium. Ribba, 1997 ) . The chief decisions of the probe were that: ( I ) in the short tally, the being of a trade-off induced by the transitory daze is confirmed ; ( two ) in the long tally, the two variables move one-for-one in the same way driven by a lasting supply daze.

Karanassou, Sala & A ; Snower ( 2003 ) studied to supply simple theoretical theoretical accounts that highlight two channels whereby pecuniary dazes have lasting existent effects and the interactions between these channels and presented an empirical dynamic theoretical account, covering a panel of EU states, and derives the implied

long-term inflation-unemployment trade-off. Their consequences suggest that the trade-off is far from perpendicular. They besides find that pay continuity plays a larger function than monetary value continuity in bring forthing the trade-off, but that the two signifiers of continuity are complementary in giving pecuniary policy its long-term existent effects.

Katos & A ; Lawler ( 2004 ) tested and relatively estimated the “ standard Phillips curve theoretical account ” versus the corresponding “ error-correction theoretical account ” for each of the 15 European Union member-states. Using co-integration methods, the analysis provided grounds that there exists a long-term equilibrium relationship between monetary value rising prices and productivity-adjusted labour costs for all 15 EU member-states. Consequently error rectification equations were estimated for all member-states. Taking into history that in the huge bulk of the error-correction equations the accommodation coefficients were statistically important the paper concluded that the relationship between the assorted variables is better modeled within an error-correction theoretical account than within a standard Phillips curve theoretical account. The usage of the “ weakly exogenic ” variables of unemployment rate alterations, import monetary value alterations and end product growing alterations in the co-integration analysis improved the consequences in most instances proposing therefore of import deductions to rising prices and pay growing anticipations when economic policies aim at higher end product growing and lower unemployment rate.

The Phillips curve is by and large been estimated in a additive model, which implies a changeless relationship between rising prices and unemployment. Recently, there have been several surveies, which claim that the incline of Phillips curve is map of macroeconomics conditions and that relationship is asymmetric. In his paper, Tanuwidjaja ( 2004 ) tested the negative relationship between rising prices and unemployment for the United State It turned out that the Phillips curve of United State was still relevant in context.

Castelnuovo ( 2006 ) assessed the stableness of unfastened economic system backward-looking Phillips curves estimated over two different exchange rate governments. He calibrated a new-Keynesian pecuniary policy theoretical account and employed it for bring forthing unreal informations. A pecuniary policy interruption retroflexing the move from a Target-Zone government to a Free-Floating government implemented in Sweden in 1992 was modeled. He employed two different, credibly calibrated Taylor regulations to depict the Swedish pecuniary policy behavior, and fitted a reduced-form Phillips curve to the unreal informations. While non rejecting the statistical relevancy of the Lucas review, he found that its economic importance does non look to be overpowering.


The Philips curve postulates that the rising prices rate is dependent on expected rising prices ( i?°e ) , cyclical unemployment ( u – United Nations ) and supply dazes ( i?? ) . The equation takes the undermentioned signifier:

i?°iˆ iˆ?iˆ i?°i??iˆ iˆ­iˆ i??iˆ?iˆ u – uniˆ©iˆ iˆ«iˆ i??


i?°i?? = rate of expected rising prices ;

u = existent rate of unemployment

un = natural rate of unemployment

i?? = reactivity of rising prices to unemployment

i??iˆ iˆ?iˆ mistake term ( provide dazes )

This equation implies that existent rising prices will be expected rising prices if unemployment peers natural unemployment. This means that rising prices is 100 % inertial and if all else is equal, people ‘s outlooks on rising prices, which will be based on last twelvemonth ‘s rising prices, will be a perfect forecaster of existent rising prices. This may or may non be the instance. Before traveling on to explicate the empirical theoretical account, three premises need to be applied:

Past rising prices is used as a placeholder for expected rising prices, connoting an adaptative outlooks theoretical account ( hence i?°e iˆ?iˆ i?°iˆ­iˆ± )

Natural unemployment is fixed.

Supply dazes are zero ( i??iˆ =0 ) .

Next, to exemplify that rising prices is inertial but non 100 % inertial, the coefficient i?±iˆ is assigned to i?°e as follows:

i?°tiˆ iˆ?iˆ i?±iˆ?i?°tiˆ­iˆ±iˆ©iˆ iˆ­iˆ i??iˆ?u – uniˆ©

In his account of the Philips Curve, Mankiw posits that i?±iˆ = 1, connoting that existent rising prices is 100 % inertial. This means that monetary values are gluey and people ‘s outlook of this twelvemonth ‘s rising prices is to a great extent dependent on the degree of old twelvemonth ‘s rising prices. Therefore if i?±iˆ is equal to or shut to one, there is small flexibleness in monetary values and accordingly rewards. On the other manus, this modified Philips curve theoretical account allows foriˆ i?±iˆ to be some value so as to non keep it to the value one.

Where the long tally Phillips Curve cuts the horizontal axis would be the rate of unemployment at which rising prices was changeless – the alleged Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment ( NAIRU ) . This would be where i?°tiˆ iˆ?iˆ i?°tiˆ­iˆ±iˆ®

The equation which was derived after the premises are implied is manipulated to give the undermentioned equation:

i?°tiˆ iˆ?iˆ i?±iˆ?i?°tiˆ­iˆ±iˆ©iˆ iˆ­iˆ i??iˆ?u – United Nations ) iˆ

Now i?±iˆ is taken to be equal to 1 ( following Mankiv ‘s theoretical account ) . Hence the above equation becomes,

i?°tiˆ iˆ?iˆ iˆ?i?°tiˆ­iˆ±iˆ©iˆ iˆ­iˆ i??iˆ?u – uniˆ©


i?°tiˆ = rising prices

i?°tiˆ­iˆ±iˆ = rising prices lagged by one twelvemonth

u – un = cyclical unemployment

Simplifying it further,

, ( = -1/i?? ) & lt ; 0

Based on the relationship between unemployment and rising prices observed in equation, a arrested development theoretical account was formulated with rising prices as the independent variable and unemployment depending on it. This is simply altering the footings in equation into a signifier that can be easy recognized as a arrested development theoretical account:

u = i??iˆ± iˆ«iˆ i??iˆ?iˆ iˆ?i?°t ) iˆ iˆ«iˆ i??iˆ?iˆ?i?°tiˆ­iˆ±iˆ©


u = Actual Unemployment Rate

i?°tiˆ­iˆ±iˆ iˆ?iˆ Expected Inflationiˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ iˆ

i?°iˆ iˆ?iˆ Actual Inflation

i??iˆ±iˆ iˆ?iˆ ( NAIRU )

The undermentioned hypotheses were derived from this:

1. Expected rising prices ( in this instance, last twelvemonth ‘s rising prices is used as a placeholder for expected rising prices ) is positively related to this twelvemonth ‘s unemployment, that is, i??iˆ?iˆ is expected to transport a positive mark. The principle behind this thought is that when concern people expect high rising prices, they are likely to take down costs. One manner to accomplish lower cost is by engaging fewer workers and this straight causes higher unemployment.

2. Inflation is negatively related to unemployment, that is, i??iˆ?iˆ is expected to transport a negative mark. When the authorities attempts to lower rising prices through contractionary financial policies, aggregative demand lessenings. The ensuing reduced income degree makes concerns poorer and they end up engaging fewer workers.

DATA Beginning:

The information in this survey covers the clip line from 1980 to 2005. It is taken from Pakistan Economic Survey 2005 and State Bank Handbook 2005. It covers two and half decennary of Pakistan economic history and hence is a just index for our survey. We are traveling to take a version of Consumer Price Index ( CPI ) as a step of rising prices ( = { CPIt – CPIt-1 } /CPIt-1 ) and unemployment rate as it is calculated ( = unemployed labour force / labour force * 100 ) . The expected rising prices is based on old twelvemonth, so i?°i??iˆ iˆ?iˆ i?°tiˆ­iˆ±iˆ®

Appraisal Command:



Appraisal Equation:


INFLATION = C ( 1 ) + C ( 2 ) *EMPT + C ( 3 ) *EXPECTEDINF

Substituted Coefficients:


INFLATION = 3.230214874 – 0.1402721319*EMPT + 0.6779604046*EXPECTEDINF



The theoretical account drumhead tabular array studies the strength of the relationship between the theoretical account and the dependant variable.

R = 0.588 shows 58.8 % positive correlativity between rising prices and unemployment and somewhat strong additive relationship.

R2 = 0.345, intending that 34.5 % of the fluctuation in the rising prices is explained by the unemployment rate. Staying 65.5 % fluctuation is due to other factors non mentioned.

Adjusted R2 = 0.295 shows that in indifferent appraisal 29.5 % of the fluctuation in the rising prices is explained by rate of unemployment whereas the remainder 70.5 % is due to unexplained factors.

With the additive arrested development theoretical account, the mistake of estimation is really low, approximately 3.045.

Analysis of variance:

The ANOVA tabular array tests the acceptableness of the theoretical account from a statistical position.

F = 6.853 agencies that the theoretical account is non a good tantrum because the significance is really high and therefore there are other factors which influence rising prices.

The arrested development amount of squares is half of residuary amount of squares which indicates that about tierce of the fluctuation in rising prices is explained by the theoretical account.


This tabular array shows the coefficients of the arrested development line.

Changeless = 20.341

Slope = -1.940

This means that the arrested development line for appraisal of rising prices utilizing rate of unemployment is

Inflation = 20.341 – 1.940 * Rate of Unemployment

The incline shows that one unit addition in rate of unemployment will do 1.940 unit falls in rising prices. This is the expected consequence demoing reverse relationship between monetary value rising prices and rate of unemployment.

t-value for changeless is 4.301 at 0.001 significance and is hence non statistically important.

t-value for incline is -2.618 at 0.021 significance and is hence non statistically important.


The findings in the arrested development consequences aides us to cognize that Pakistan is demoing marks of being in the period of “ Short Run Phillips Curve ” . One of the major decisions of this survey is that disinflation will necessarily make higher unemployment degrees. This means that our increasing monetary value rising prices is related to an extent to the diminishing rate of unemployment. This period can be used by the policy shapers to be manipulated and acquire farther consequences in diminishing rate of unemployment by low monetary value rising prices.

Besides that this is Short Run curve and is hence no warrant whether this will really keep up to big periods of clip, for illustration a period of decennaries. As we have empirical grounds from the universe turn outing that it is applicable for a short tally, so policy shapers have to maintain in head that this period can be short lived. Besides, it is possible that excessively much rising prices, or as it is called, high rising prices, causes terrible unemployment, as it has besides been seen, and so instead than doing a lessening might really do “ stagflation ” , a combination of rising prices and stagnancy ( unemployment ) .

Even with all these limitations, one must use all chances to their maximal bound and therefore the fact should be opportunized by the economic expert that at this point of our economic system, “ YES, INFLATION IS BRINGING DOWN UNEMPLOYMENT! ”