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Some modern economists have argued in a Keynesian spirit that, along with wages, other prices may be sticky, too. Many firms do not change their prices every day or even every month. When a firm considers changing prices, it must consider two sets of costs. First, changing prices uses company resources: managers must analyze the competition and market demand and decide what the new prices will be, sales materials must be updated, billing records will change, and product labels and price labels must be redone. Second, frequent price changes may leave customers confused or angry—especially if they find out that a product now costs more than expected. These costs of changing prices are called menu costs    —like the costs of printing up a new set of menus with different prices in a restaurant. Prices do respond to forces of supply and demand, but from a macroeconomic perspective, the process of changing all prices throughout the economy takes time.

To understand the effect of sticky wages and prices in the economy, consider [link] (a) illustrating the overall labor market, while [link] (b) illustrates a market for a specific good or service. The original equilibrium (E 0 ) in each market occurs at the intersection of the demand curve (D 0 ) and supply curve (S 0 ). When aggregate demand declines, the demand for labor shifts to the left (to D 1 ) in [link] (a) and the demand for goods shifts to the left (to D 1 ) in [link] (b). However, because of sticky wages and prices, the wage remains at its original level (W 0 ) for a period of time and the price remains at its original level (P 0 ).

As a result, a situation of excess supply—where the quantity supplied exceeds the quantity demanded at the existing wage or price—exists in markets for both labor and goods, and Q 1 is less than Q 0 in both [link] (a) and [link] (b). When many labor markets and many goods markets all across the economy find themselves in this position, the economy is in a recession; that is, firms cannot sell what they wish to produce at the existing market price and do not wish to hire all who are willing to work at the existing market wage. The Clear It Up feature discusses this problem in more detail.

Sticky prices and falling demand in the labor and goods market

The two graphs show how sticky wages have varying effects based on whether the market is a labor market or a goods market.
In both (a) and (b), demand shifts left from D 0 to D 1 . However, the wage in (a) and the price in (b) do not immediately decline. In (a), the quantity demanded of labor at the original wage (W 0 ) is Q 0 , but with the new demand curve for labor (D 1 ), it will be Q 1 . Similarly, in (b), the quantity demanded of goods at the original price (P 0 ) is Q 0 , but at the new demand curve (D 1 ) it will be Q 1 . An excess supply of labor will exist, which is called unemployment. An excess supply of goods will also exist, where the quantity demanded is substantially less than the quantity supplied. Thus, sticky wages and sticky prices, combined with a drop in demand, bring about unemployment and recession.

Why is the pace of wage adjustments slow?

The recovery after the Great Recession in the United States has been slow, with wages stagnant, if not declining. In fact, many low-wage workers at McDonalds, Dominos, and Walmart have threatened to strike for higher wages. Their plight is part of a larger trend in job growth and pay in the post–recession recovery.

Jobs lost/gained in the recession/recovery

The chart on the left shows that the majority of jobs lost during the recession were from people working mid-wage occupations (60%). The chart on the right shows that the majority of jobs gained during the recovery were from people working lower-wage occupations (58%).
Data in the aftermath of the Great Recession suggests that jobs lost were in mid-wage occupations, while jobs gained were in low-wage occupations.

The National Employment Law Project compiled data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that, during the Great Recession, 60% of job losses were in medium-wage occupations. Most of them were replaced during the recovery period with lower-wage jobs in the service, retail, and food industries. This data is illustrated in [link] .

Wages in the service, retail, and food industries are at or near minimum wage and tend to be both downwardly and upwardly “sticky.” Wages are downwardly sticky due to minimum wage laws; they may be upwardly sticky if insufficient competition in low-skilled labor markets enables employers to avoid raising wages that would reduce their profits. At the same time, however, the Consumer Price Index increased 11% between 2007 and 2012, pushing real wages down.

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
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The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
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At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
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Source:  OpenStax, University of houston downtown: macroeconomics. OpenStax CNX. May 28, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11653/1.3
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