This paper deals with a critical assessment of the ‘non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment’ (NAIRU) for Germany. There are quite a few obstacles to perceiving the NAIRU as an easy-to-use analytical instrument: the possibility of a non-vertical Phillips curve, the occurrence of shocks and hysteresis effects, and the (mis-)measurement of important variables, cointegration issues and a time variability of the NAIRU. A new attempt is made to estimate a NAIRU for Germany using direct measures of inflationary expectations. However, by any method, the NAIRU is very hard to determine and subject to considerable arbitrariness.
German Economic Review (GER), the official publication of the German Economic Association (Verein für Socialpolitik), is an international journal publishing original and rigorous research of general interest in a broad range of economic disciplines. The scope of research approaches includes theoretical, empirical and experimental work.