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Nominal Wage Contracts, Aggregate and Firm-Specific Uncertainty – How High is the Private Gain from Indexation?

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  • Laséen, Stefan

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

In this paper I investigate to what extent firm-specific uncertainty affects the gain from indexation. Earlier studies have tried to explain wage rigidity by arguing that insiders face little layoff risk due to employment fluctuations caused by aggregate shocks. However, this analysis abstracts from idiosyncratic risk and this seems hard to reconcile with recent microeconomic evidence which shows that firm-specific uncertainty explains a large part of establishments' employment changes. By numerically solving an insider-outsider model I show that the introduction of firm-specific uncertainty increases the gain from indexation considerably (from 0 to 1.5 percent of the wage). It is not evident that the gain from indexation is small enough to support an equilibrium with a constant nominal wage. According to the model, nominal wage contracts should be more prevalent, when layoff is not so costly for the worker, due to high unemployment benefits or short duration of unemployment spells.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2000:11.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 06 Sep 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2003, pages 247-254.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2000_011

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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Indexation; Wage contracts; Insider-outsider models;

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  1. Prakash Loungani & Bharat Trehan, 1997. "Job creation and destruction," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may2.
  2. Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1999. "Gross job flows," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2711-2805 Elsevier.
  3. 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.
  4. Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
  5. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  6. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
  7. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
  8. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "A Near-rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Intertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 823-38, Supp..
  10. Andersen, Torben M., 1994. "Price Rigidity: Causes and Macroeconomic Implications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287605, September.
  11. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
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