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Understanding sectoral differences in downward real wage rigidity: workforce composition, institutions, technology and competition

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  • Du Caju, Philip
  • Fuss, Catherine
  • Wintr, Ladislav

Abstract

This paper examines whether differences in wage rigidity across sectors can be explained by differences in workforce composition, competition, technology and wage-bargaining institutions. We adopt the measure of downward real wage rigidity (DRWR) developed by Dickens and Goette (2006) and rely on a large administrative matched employer-employee dataset for Belgium over the period 1990-2002. Firstly, our results indicate that DRWR is significantly higher for white-collar workers and lower for older workers and for workers with higher earnings and bonuses. Secondly, beyond labour force composition effects, sectoral differences in DRWR are related to competition, firm size, technology and wage bargaining institutions. We find that wages are more rigid in more competitive sectors, in labour-intensive sectors, and in sectors with predominant centralised wage setting at the sector level as opposed to firm-level wage agreements. JEL Classification: J31

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1006.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091006

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Keywords: matched employer-employee data; wage rigidity; wage-bargaining institutions;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Luca Antonio Ricci & Paolo Surico, 2010. "Unemployment and Productivity in the Long Run: The Role of Macroeconomic Volatility," NBER Working Papers 16374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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 Papers 2009/4, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  3. Gábor Kátay, 2011. "Downward wage rigidity in Hungary," MNB Working Papers 2011/9, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
  4. Marianna Cervena, 2012. "Base Wage Rigidities: Evidence From a Survey of Slovak Firms," Working and Discussion Papers WP 3/2012, Research Department, National Bank of Slovakia.
  5. Julián Messina & Philip Du Caju & Cláudia Filipa Duarte & Niels Lynggård Hansen & Mario Izquierdo, 2010. "The incidence of nominal and real wage rigidity : An individual-based sectoral approach," Working Paper Research 191, National Bank of Belgium.
  6. Daniel Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques & Fernando Martins, 2012. "Identifying the determinants of downward wage rigidity: some methodological considerations and new empirical evidence," Working Papers w201215, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. Patrick Lünnemann & Ladislav Wintr, 2010. "Downward wage rigidity and automatic wage indexation: Evidence from monthly micro wage data," BCL working papers 48, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
  8. Druant, Martine & Fabiani, Silvia & Kezdi, Gabor & Lamo, Ana & Martins, Fernando & Sabbatini, Roberto, 2012. "Firms' price and wage adjustment in Europe: Survey evidence on nominal stickiness," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 772-782.
  9. Dhyne, Emmanuel & Druant, Martine, 2010. "Wages, labor or prices: how do firms react to shocks?," Working Paper Series 1224, European Central Bank.

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