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The Margins of Labour Cost Adjustment: Survey Evidence from European Firms

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  • Jan Babecky
  • Philip Du Caju
  • Theodora Kosma
  • Martina Lawless
  • Julian Messina
  • Tairi Room

Abstract

Firms have multiple options at the time of adjusting their wage bills. However, previous literature has mainly focused on base wages. We broaden the analysis beyond downward rigidity in base wages by investigating the use of other margins of labour cost adjustment at the firm level. Using data from a unique survey, we find that European firms make frequent use of other, more flexible, components of compensation to adjust the cost of labour. Changes in bonuses and non-pay benefits are some of the potential margins firms use to reduce costs. We also show how the margins of adjustment chosen are affected by firm and worker characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Czech National Bank, Research Department in its series Working Papers with number 2010/07.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cnb:wpaper:2010/07

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Keywords: European Union; firm survey; labour costs; wage rigidity.;

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References

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  1. Jan Babecky & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Room, 2009. "Downward nominal and real wage rigidity : Survey evidence from European firms," Working Paper Research 182, National Bank of Belgium.
  2. Du Caju, Philip & Gautier, Erwan & Momferatou, Daphne & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2008. "Institutional Features of Wage Bargaining in 23 European Countries, the US and Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 3867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde & Thomas Bauer, 2007. "Wage Rigidity: Measurement, Causes and Consequences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages F499-F507, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques & Fernando Martins, 2012. "Wage rigidity and employment adjustment at the firm level: evidence from survey data," Working Papers w201212, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  2. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Room, 2014. "Why firms avoid cutting wages: survey evidence from European firms," Working Papers 173, Bank of Greece.
  3. Dhyne, Emmanuel & Druant, Martine, 2010. "Wages, labor or prices: how do firms react to shocks?," Working Paper Series 1224, European Central Bank.
  4. Frank R. Smets, 2010. "Commetary: modeling inflation after the crisis," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 221-234.
  5. Daniel Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques & Fernando Martins, 2012. "Labour cost-cutting strategies microeconomic evidence from survey data," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  6. Ana María Iregui & Ligia Alba Melo & María Teresa Ramírez, 2010. "Incrementos y rigideces de los salarios en Colombia: Un estudio a partir de una encuesta," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  7. Ana María Iregui B. & Ligia Alba Melo B. & María Teresa Ramírez G., 2010. "Downward Wage Rigidities and Other Firms´ Responses to an Economic Slowdown: Evidence from a Survey of Colombian Firms," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 007195, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  8. Alexandre, Fernando & Bação, Pedro & Cerejeira, João & Portela, Miguel, 2010. "Manufacturing Employment and Exchange Rates in the Portuguese Economy: The Role of Openness, Technology and Labour Market Rigidity," IZA Discussion Papers 5251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Virbickas, Ernestas, 2010. "Wage and price setting behaviour of Lithuanian firms," Working Paper Series 1198, European Central Bank.
  10. Bergin, Adele & Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus, 2012. "Explaining Changes in Earnings and Labour Costs During the Recession," Papers EC9, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  11. Vasilis Droucopoulos & Panagiotis Chronis, 2010. "“Assessing market dominance”: a comment and an extension," Working Papers 109, Bank of Greece.
  12. Theodoros Mitrakos & Panos Tsakloglou, 2010. "Analyzing and comparing the impact of alternative concepts of resources in distributional studies: Greece, 2004/5," Working Papers 111, Bank of Greece.
  13. Aurelijus Dabušinskas & Tairi Rõõm, 2011. "Survey evidence on wage and price setting in Estonia," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2011-06, Bank of Estonia, revised 27 May 2011.

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