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Evidence on nominal wage rigidity from a panel of U.S. manufacturing industries

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  • Vivek Ghosal
  • Prakash Loungani

Abstract

Using annual data for 450 manufacturing industries over the period 1958 to 1989, we establish the following stylized facts on the response of industry nominal wage growth to aggregate and industry influences: ; 1. We find support for the canonical wage contracts model outlined in Blanchard and Fischer (1989). The elasticity of response of nominal wage growth to expected inflation is 0.7. The dasticity of nominal wage growth with respect to changes in unexpected inflation is 0.1. ; 2. These elasticity estimates are robust to splitting the sample along various dimensions: level of unionization, durability of the product, and industry contract length. The elasticity of nominal wage growth to expected inflation ranges from 0.6 to 0.8; the elasticity with respect to unexpected inflation is between 0.1 and 0.2. ; 3. We find support for the multi-sector wage indexation models of Duca and VanHoose (199] ) and others. The profit-sharing elasticity (the response of industry wage growth to industry profit growth) is positive, as hypothesized in these models. The instrumental variable estimates of the profit-sharing elasticity range from 0.1 to 0.3.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 512.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:512

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Keywords: Manufactures ; Wages;

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References

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  1. Gottfries, Nils, 1992. "Insiders, Outsiders, and Nominal Wage Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 252-70, April.
  2. Ray C. Fair, 1978. "An Analysis of the Accuracy of Four Macroeconometric Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 492, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Michael A. Curme & Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson, 1990. "Union membership and contract coverage in the United States, 1983รป1988," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 5-33, October.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 90, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. David Card, 1988. "Unexpected Inflation, Real Wages, and Employment Determination in Union Contracts," Working Papers 612, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Oswald, A. J., 1995. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve: Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 102-102, March.
  7. In-Moo Kim & Prakash Loungani, 1991. "The role of energy in real business cycle models," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1992. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1153-1207, December.
  9. Mark Bils, 1989. "Testing for Contracting Effects on Employment," NBER Working Papers 3051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  11. Marcello Estevao & Stacey Tevlin, 1995. "The role of profits in wage determination: evidence from US manufacturing," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Dutkowsky, Donald H & Atesoglu, H Sonmez, 1993. "Wage Contracting in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(1), pages 62-78, February.
  13. Cho, Jang-Ok & Cooley, Thomas F, 1995. "The Business Cycle with Nominal Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 13-33, June.
  14. Ahmed, Shaghil, 1987. "Wage stickiness and the non-neutrality of money : A cross-industry analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 25-50, July.
  15. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1992. "Wages, Profits and Rent-Sharing," NBER Working Papers 4222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Sargent, Thomas J, 1976. "A Classical Macroeconometric Model for the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 207-37, April.
  17. Prescott, David & Wilton, David, 1992. "The Determinants of Wage Changes in Indexed.and Nonindexed Contracts: A Switching Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 331-55, July.
  18. Duca, John V & VanHoose, David D, 1991. "Optimal Wage Indexation in a Multisector Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(4), pages 859-67, November.
  19. Gordon, Robert J, 1988. "The Role of Wages in the Inflation Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 276-83, May.
  20. Charles A. Fleischman, 1999. "The causes of business cycles and the cyclicality of real wages," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1979. "New estimates of private sector unionism in the United States," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 32(2), pages 143-174, January.
  22. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1981. "Does Anticipated Aggregate Demand Policy Matter? Further Econometric results," NBER Working Papers 0789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Waldo, Douglas G., 1981. "Sticky nominal wages and the optimal employment rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 339-353.
  24. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 2115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Montgomery, Edward & Shaw, Kathryn, 1985. "Long-term contracts, expectations and wage inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 209-226, September.
  26. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  27. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniels, Joseph P. & VanHoose, David D., 2006. "Openness, the sacrifice ratio, and inflation: Is there a puzzle?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1336-1347, December.
  2. John V. Duca & David D. VanHoose, 1997. "Goods-market competition and profit sharing: a multisector macro approach," Working Papers 9709, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. Duca, John V. & Vanhoose, David D., 1998. "The Rise of Goods-Market Competition and the Decline in Wage Indexation: A Macroeconomic Approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 579-598, July.
  4. Ghosal, Vivek, 2002. "Potential foreign competition in US manufacturing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1461-1489, December.
  5. Duca, John V. & Van Hoose, David D., 2001. "The Rise of Goods-Market Competition and the Fall of Nominal Wage Contracting: Endogenous Wage Contracting in a Multisector Economy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-29, January.
  6. Christopher Hanes, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity and Industry Characteristics in the Downturns of 1893, 1929, and 1981," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1432-1446, December.

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