Wage Dynamics: Reconciling Theory and Evidence
AbstractU.S. macroeconomic evidence shows a negative relation between the rate of change of wages and unemployment. In contrast, most theories of wage determination imply a negative relation between the level of wages and unemployment. In this paper, we ask whether one can reconcile the empirical evidence with theoretical wage relations. We reach three main conclusions. First, we derive the condition under which the two can indeed be reconciled. We show the constraints that such a condition imposes on the determinants of workers' reservation wages as well as the relative importance of workers' outside options as opposed to match specific productivity in wage determination. Second, in the light of this condition, we reinterpret the presence of an "error correction" term in macroeconomic wage relations for most European economies but not in the United States. Third, we show that whether this condition holds or not has important implications for the effects of a number of variables -- from real interest rates to oil prices to payroll taxes -- on the natural rate of unemployment.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 89 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Other versions of this item:
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
- Karl Whelan, 1997. "Wage curve vs. Phillips curve: are there macroeconomic implications?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis & Margolis, David N. & Troske, Kenneth R., 2001.
"The Relative Importance of Employer and Employee Effects on Compensation: A Comparison of France and the United States,"
Journal of the Japanese and International Economies,
Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 419-436, December.
- Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N. & Troske, K.R., 1998. "The Relative Importance of Employer and Employeee Effects on Compensation: a Comparison of France and the United States," Papiers du Laboratoire de MicroÃÂ©conomie AppliquÃÂ©e 1998-10, UniversitÃ© PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997.
"Does Inflation “Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market”?,"
in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1995. "Does Inflation 'Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market'?," Working Papers 735, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1996. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Working Papers 5538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1990.
" The Wage Curve,"
Scandinavian Journal of Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 215-35.
- Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994.
"Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
- Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.