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Downward Nominal Rigidity in West German Earnings, 1975-95

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  • Thomas Beissinger
  • Christoph Knoppik

Abstract

If downward nominal wage rigidity exists, it should affect the distribution of earnings changes. We present a common analytical framework for three distinct and previously unconnected approaches to the analysis of downward nominal rigidity, the skewness-location approach, the symmetry approach and the histogram-location approach. We modify them by dropping the assumption of time-invariant rigidity and apply them to earnings data from the IAB-Beschftigtenstichprobe (IABS). We find that the distribution of West German log earnings changes is indeed affected by downward nominal rigidity. Our modification of the approaches also allows us to find that the degree of nominal rigidity depends on business cycle conditions, with weaker rigidity in times of rising unemployment. Our findings support the critics of very low inflation targets. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 2 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 385-417

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:2:y:2001:i:4:p:385-417

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  1. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20131, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
  3. Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
  4. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999. "The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2007. "The Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity," Kiel Working Papers 1343, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. David E. Lebow & Raven E. Saks & Beth Anne Wilson, 1999. "Downward nominal wage rigidity: evidence from the employment cost index," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
  9. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
  10. Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1994. "The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?," Working Paper 9418, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
  12. Kenneth J. McLaughlin, 1999. "Are nominal wage changes skewed away from wage cuts?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 117-132.
  13. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  14. Jacoby, Sanford M & Mitchell, Daniel J B, 1990. "Sticky Stories: Economic Explanations of Employment and Wage Rigidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 33-37, May.
  15. Smith, Jennifer C, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C176-95, March.
  16. Thanasis Stengos & Louis N. Christofides, 2002. "The symmetry of the wage-change distribution: Survey and contract data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 705-723.
  17. Knoppik, Christoph, 2007. "Skewness and Location of Distributions of Wage Change Rates in the Presence of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 420, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  18. David E. Lebow & David J. Stockton & William L. Wascher, 1995. "Inflation, nominal wage rigidity, and the efficiency of labor markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Knoppik, Christoph, 2007. "Skewness and Location of Distributions of Wage Change Rates in the Presence of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 420, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Radowski, Daniel & Bonin, Holger, 2008. "Sectoral differences in wage freezes and wage cuts: evidence from a new firm survey," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,24, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Patrick A. Puhani, 2008. "Transatlantic Differences in Labour Markets: Changes in Wage and Non-Employment Structures in the 1980s and the 1990s," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 312-338, 08.
  4. Francesco Devicienti, 2002. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Italy: Evidence and Consequences," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 20, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  5. Christoph Knoppik & Thomas Beissinger, 2009. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe: an analysis of European micro data from the ECHP 1994–2001," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 321-338, May.
  6. Knoppik, Christoph, 2004. "The Kernel-Location Approach - A New Non-parametric Approach to the Analysis of Download Nominal Rigidity in Micro Data," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 392, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Beissinger, Thomas & Knoppik, Christoph, 2003. "Sind Nominallöhne starr? Neuere Evidenz und wirtschaftspolitische Implikationen," IZA Discussion Papers 800, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Ana María Iregui B. & Ligia Alba Melo B. & María Teresa Ramírez G., . "Are wages rigid in Colombia?: Empirical evidence based on a sample of wages at the firm level," Borradores de Economia 571i, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

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