The Phillips Curve Controversy
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Publication date: 2014-10-31
GNPJE 2014;273(5):5-28
The article discusses the controversy among economists over the so‑called Phillips curve, which shows the relationship between unemployment and inflation in an economy. The complexity of mechanisms that govern the economy causes inflation and unemployment to be mutually interdependent, the author notes. The relationship between these two indicators has been the subject of economic research since the 1950s when the Phillips curve was first commonly applied. The article consists of an introduction, three main parts, and a summary. The first part analyzes the position and slope of different versions of the Phillips curve. The second part focuses on the controversy surrounding the hypothesis of rational expectations and the equilibrium unemployment rate. The third part attempts to answer the question whether the Phillips curve should continue to be used in modern macroeconomic analysis. The article ends with a summary and conclusions. The author concludes that the Phillips curve may take various shapes in both the short and long run depending on the type of inflation, which can be of either the demand­‑pull or cost­‑push variety, and the fact whether its positive consequences outweigh negative ones or vice versa. In addition, Grabia argues that the Phillips curve in its extended versions can still be used as an effective analytical instrument in macroeconomics.
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