Brauchen wir eine Rezes­sion, um die Infla­tion zu brechen?

Die große Sorge im Zusammenhang mit der Inflationsbekämpfung ist, dass jegliche Zinserhöhung der EZB der Wirtschaft das Rückgrat bricht und eine unnötige Rezession herbeiführt oder eine solche verschlimmert. Genau dies habe ich auch Ricardo Reis für meinen Podcast am 28. August 2022 gefragt. The Economist hat noch Hoffnung:

  • “From (the) perspective (of the FED) the inflation problem remains unresolved as long as rapid growth in workers’ wages continues to power a spending boom. While that remains the case, a drop in the price of any one thing, such as oil, only leaves more room for spending on another. The Fed thus needs to weaken workers’ bargaining positions by introducing a bit of slack into the labour market.” – bto: These ist also: Wir brauchen mehr Arbeitslosigkeit, um die Inflation zu bekämpfen. Da ist genau das, was Gegner von Zinserhöhungen hierzulande als Argument anführen.
  • “(…) what counts as slack is very much up for debate. In its broad outlines, the concept is clear enough. It represents a supply of workers in excess of labour demand: too many people chasing too little employment. (…) At present, there does not seem to be much slack about. In the three months to July the hourly wage of the typical American worker rose at an annual rate of almost 7%—nearly double the fastest pace reached in the 2010s.” – bto: Das wäre aus Sicht einiger Ökonomen wie Marcel Fratzscher eine auch hier höchst willkommene Reaktion.
  • “(…) some Fed officials argue that precisely because the number of job vacancies is so high, it may be possible to introduce slack into the labour market through reductions in the number of posted openings—without having to push millions of people out of work. In July Chris Waller, a Federal Reserve governor, and Andrew Figura, also of the Fed, published a paper making this case, noting that the relationship between vacancies and unemployment may at current levels be a very steep one, such that tapping the monetary brakes yields a little extra unemployment but a big drop in openings, which hampers workers’ ability to move to higher-paying jobs.” – bto: Es gibt also eine Lohndämpfung, weil es weniger Nachfrage gibt. Diese bleibt aber hoch genug, sodass vorhandene Arbeitsplätze nicht verloren gehen bzw. neue etwaige Verluste kompensieren.
  • “(…) there has never before been a large drop in the number of job openings that has not coincided with a meaningful rise in unemployment. This makes sense: conditions that deter some firms from advertising for new workers may well lead other employers to lay off staff.” – bto: Das leuchtet ein, ist aber nur ein Spiel von mengenmäßiger Nachfrage und Angebot.
  • “An increase in labour supply, either through increases in average hours worked, or through the entrance of more people into the workforce, could have the effect of bringing down wage growth without unemployment having to go up. In a new paper David Blanchflower and Jackson Spurling of Dartmouth College and Alex Bryson of University College London suggest that, in the years since the global financial crisis of 2007-09, these potential sources of labour supply have been more important in shaping wage growth than either the level of unemployment or the number of job vacancies.” – bto: Das führt zu dem Problem, dass viele Menschen nach Corona einfach nicht mehr dem Arbeitsmarkt zur Verfügung stehen wollen.
  • “The number of average hours worked per employee is at roughly the level of the mid-2010s, and has actually fallen since the beginning of this year; it could easily go higher. Perhaps more important, rates of labour-force participation remain subdued. Indeed, among “prime-age” adults, those 25-54-years-old, the share of the population now working is currently a little lower than it was immediately before the covid-19 pandemic, and nearly two percentage points lower than the peak reached in 2000. There are, seemingly, more hours that could be worked by more people—a situation that certainly seems to meet the definition of slack.” – bto: Das ist gerade für Deutschland höchst relevant.
  • “Research published last year by Bart Hobijn of Arizona State University and Aysegul Sahin of the University of Texas finds that participation tends to keep rising several months after the unemployment rate hits a bottom, which it is yet to do. If such a rise were to coincide with falling vacancies, wage growth could be checked without unemployment going up. Indeed, in the late 2010s pay stagnated amid an improving economy and falling unemployment, thanks to precisely this confluence of events. Yet a pessimist might point out that, if anything, America’s labour-force participation has been falling in recent months, rather than rising. So far at least, rapid wage growth has not proved to be very tempting.” – bto: Und damit gibt es wenig Hoffnung, auf diese Weise die Inflation in den Griff zu bekommen.
  • “(…) having allowed inflation to get so far out of hand, the Fed may now feel bound to push unemployment up, rather than hoping for the emergence of less certain forms of slack. It may, in other words, be unwilling to cut optimistic interpretations any slack.” – bto: und die EZB?„Does unemployment really have to rise to bring down inflation?“, 18. August 2022