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Still Searching for the Wage Curve: Evidence from Germany and Italy

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Author Info

  • Ammermueller, Andreas

    ()
    (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Lucifora, Claudio

    ()
    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Origo, Federica

    ()
    (University of Bergamo)

  • Zwick, Thomas

    ()
    (ZEW Mannheim)

Abstract

This paper investigates the functioning of regional labour markets in Italy and Germany for different employee groups. In the light of high and persistent differences in unemployment and wage rates between the North and South of Italy and the West and East of Germany, we first derive theoretical hypotheses on group specific correlations between regional unemployment and individual wages. Using micro data on hourly wages properly matched to local unemployment rates, we specify and empirically test different wage equations. On the basis of our results, we find no evidence for the existence of a “wage curve” in Italy. In the case of Germany, results are quite sensitive to the model specification and the employee group considered. In both countries, the reaction of wages to local unemployment varies significantly along the wage distribution, being more sensitive around the median quantiles. We conclude that there is no uniform wage curve and call for a differentiated analysis for various groups, taking into account the respective institutional setting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2674.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Wage flexibility in regional labour markets: Evidence from Italy and Germany' in: Regional Studies, 2010, 44 (4), 401 - 421
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2674

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Keywords: local labour markets; quantile regressions; wage curve;

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References

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  1. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Blanchard, O & Katz, L, 1996. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Working papers 96-29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Silvia Fabiani & Alberto Locarno & Gian Paolo Oneto & Paolo Sestito, 1997. "NAIRU: Incomes Policy and Inflation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 187, OECD Publishing.
  4. Francesco Devicienti & Agata Maida & Lia Pacelli, 2006. "The Resurrection of the Italian Wage Curve," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 52, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  5. Ammermueller, Andreas & Kuckulenz, Anja & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Aggregate unemployment decreases individual returns to education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 217-226, April.
  6. Nickell, S. & Wadhwani, S., 1989. "Insider Forces And Wage Determination," Papers 334, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  7. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  8. Carlo Dell'Aringa & Claudio Lucifora & Federica Origo, 2007. "Public Sector Pay And Regional Competitiveness. A First Look At Regional Public-Private Wage Differentials In Italy," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(4), pages 445-478, 07.
  9. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
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  11. Claudio LUCIFORA & Federica ORIGO, 1999. "Alla ricerca della flessibilita': un'analisi della curva dei salari in Italia," Rivista Italiana degli Economisti, SIE - Societa' Italiana degli Economisti (I), vol. 4(1), pages 3-36, April.
  12. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1989. "The Wage Curve," NBER Working Papers 3181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  13. C Bean, 1992. "European Unemployment: A Survey," CEP Discussion Papers dp0071, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  16. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe, 1998. "The German wage curve: evidence from the IAB employment sample," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 135-142, November.
  17. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  18. Piero CASADIO & Maria LAMELAS & Giorgio RODANO, 2005. "Cambiamento istituzionale, salari e flessibilità: l’esperienza della concertazione in Italia," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 113(2), pages 185-214.
  19. Faggio, Guilia & Nickell, Stephen, 2005. "The responsiveness of wages to labour market conditions in the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 685-696, October.
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  21. Chiarini, Bruno & Piselli, Paolo, 1997. "Wage Setting, Wage Curve and Phillips Curve: The Italian Evidence," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 545-65, November.
  22. Lucifora Claudio & Origo Federica, 1999. "Alla ricerca della flessibilità: un'analisi della curva dei salari in Italia," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 3-36.
  23. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ludsteck, Johannes & Haupt, Harry, 2007. "An Empirical Test of Reder Competition and Specific Human Capital Against Standard Wage Competition," Discussion Papers in Economics 1977, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Ammermueller, Andreas & Kuckulenz, Anja & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Aggregate unemployment decreases individual returns to education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 217-226, April.
  3. Maritza López-Novella & Salimata Sissoko, 2009. "Working Paper 12-09 - Salaires et négociation collective en Belgique : une analyse microéconomique en panel," Working Papers 0912, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
  4. Ludsteck, Johannes, 2008. "Wage cyclicality and the wage curve under the microscope," IAB Discussion Paper 200811, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  5. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe & Wolf, Katja, 2009. "New evidence on the dynamic wage curve for Western Germany: 1980-2004," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 47-51, January.
  6. Hans-Friedrich Eckey & Reinhold Kosfeld & Alexander Werner, 2008. "Die Lohnkurve in Deutschland unter Berücksichtigung des regionalen Preisniveaus," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200810, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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