How often have wage-price spirals occurred in the past, and what has happened in their aftermath? This column investigates this by creating a database of past wage-price spiral episodes among a wide set of advanced economies going back to the 1960s. Surprisingly, only a small minority of such episodes were followed by further sustained acceleration in wages and prices. The authors argue that an acceleration of nominal wages is not necessarily a sign that a wage-price spiral is taking hold.
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