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Discussion Paper

Supply Constraints on Employment and Output: NAIRU versus Natural Rate

NAIRU and NATURAL RATE are not synonymous. NAIRU is a macro outcome of an economy with many labor markets in diverse states of excess demand and excess supply. NAIRU represents an overall balance between the inflation-increasing pressures from excess-demand markets and the inflation-decreasing pressures from excess-supply markets. The natural rate, as described by Friedman, is a feature of walrasian market-clearing general equilibrium. While the NAIRU fits into a Keynesian model, the natural rate is an aspect of a New Classical model.