Phelpsův faktor

Edmund Phelps, můj kolega na Kolumbijské univerzitě, obdrží 10. prosince Nobelovu cenu v oboru ekonomie za rok 2006. Toto ocenění je dlouho opožděné. Ačkoli výbor pro udělování Nobelovy ceny citoval jeho přínosy v makroekonomice, Phelps přispěl v mnoha oblastech, včetně teorie růstu a technologické změny, optimálního zdanění a sociální spravedlnosti.

Phelpsovým klíčovým postřehem v makroekonomice bylo, že vztah mezi inflací a nezaměstnaností ovlivňují očekávání a vzhledem k tomu, že očekávání samotná jsou endogenní – s plynutím času se mění –, pak to bude platit i pro vztah mezi nezaměstnaností a inflací. Jestliže se vláda pokusí stlačit míru nezaměstnanosti příliš nízko, zvýší se inflace a tím také inflační očekávání.

Tento vhled přináší dvě možné politické implikace. Někteří zákonodárci z Phelpsovy analýzy vyvodili, že míru nezaměstnanosti nelze ustavičně snižovat, aniž by se neustále nezvyšovala míra inflace. Měnové orgány by se tudíž měly jednoduše zaměřit na cenovou stabilitu tím, že budou usilovat o dosažení takové míry nezaměstnanosti, při níž inflace neroste a která se označuje jako „inflaci neakcelerující míra nezaměstnanosti“ (NAIRU).

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