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Heterogeneity In Real Wage Cyclicality

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  • Pedro S. Martins

Abstract

This paper presents evidence that real wage cyclicality can be a particularly heterogeneous parameter, depending on different worker characteristics and also on the specific stage of the business cycle. Using matched employer-employee panel data for Portugal covering the period 1986-2004, real wages are shown to be considerably more procyclical during recessions than during expansions, resulting in relatively moderate overall levels of cyclicality (about -0.6). However, most of the procyclicality during downturns is shown to be driven by the younger employees, as older workers appear to be insulated from the business cycle. Moreover, movers between firms typically display higher cyclicality than workers that stay in the same firm, regardless of whether the latter move or not between job levels. Most results also hold when considering basic wages instead of total wages, except that the procyclicality of movers during downturns is substantially higher.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Scottish Economic Society in its journal Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 684-698

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:54:y:2007:i:5:p:684-698

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References

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  1. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2006. "Real wage cyclicality of job stayers, within-company job movers, and between-company job movers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 105-119, October.
  3. Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Real wage cyclicality in the PSID," Working Paper Series 2007-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  5. José Varejão & Pedro Portugal, 2003. "Employment Dynamics and the Structure of Labor Adjustment Costs," Working Papers w200312, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  6. Hart, Robert A., 2003. "Worker-Job Matches, Job Mobility, and Real Wage Cyclicality," IZA Discussion Papers 881, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Pedro S. Martins, 2004. "Rent Sharing Before and After the Wage Bill," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200405, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  8. Donggyun Shin & Gary Solon, 2006. "New Evidence on Real Wage Cyclicality within Employer-Employee Matches," NBER Working Papers 12262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Carneiro, Anabela & Portugal, Pedro, 2007. "Workers’ Flows and Real Wage Cyclicality," IZA Discussion Papers 2604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  11. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
  12. Barlevy, Gadi, 2001. "Why Are the Wages of Job Changers So Procyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 837-78, October.
  13. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The cyclicality of hires, separations, and job-to-job transitions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 493-508.
  14. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The Cyclicality of real wages within employer-employee matches," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 835-850, July.
  15. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  16. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
  17. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  18. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Martins, Pedro S., 2008. "Dispersion in wage premiums and firm performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 63-65, October.
  2. Anger, Silke, 2011. "The Cyclicality of Effective Wages within Employer–Employee Matches in a Rigid Labor Market," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 786-797.
  3. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimaraes & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," CEF.UP Working Papers 0903, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  4. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan Thomas, 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pedro S. Martins, 2008. "Paying More to Hire the Best? Foreign Firms, Wages and Worker Mobility," Working Papers 17, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.

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