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New Evidence on the Dynamic Wage Curve for Western Germany: 1980–2004

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Author Info

  • Baltagi, Badi H.

    ()
    (Syracuse University)

  • Blien, Uwe

    ()
    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Wolf, Katja

    ()
    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

Abstract

In 1994, Blanchflower and Oswald reported that they have found an ‘empirical law of economics’ – the Wage Curve. According to their empirical results, the elasticity of wages with respect to regional unemployment is -0.1. This holds especially for the Anglo-Saxon countries. Our paper reconsiders the western German Wage Curve using disaggregated regional data and is based on a random sample of 974,179 employees drawn from the employment statistics of the Federal Employment Services of Germany (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) over the period 1980-2004. We find that the wage equation is highly autoregressive but far from unit root. This means that this wage equation is not a pure Phillips curve, nor a static Wage Curve, and one should account for wage dynamics. The unemployment elasticity is significant but relatively small: only between -0.02 and -0.04. We also check the sensitivity of this wage elasticity for different population groups (young versus old, men versus women, less educated versus highly educated, German native versus foreigner). We confirm that the wage elasticity is more flexible the weaker the bargaining power of the particular group.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3433.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2009, 16 (1), 47-51
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3433

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Keywords: Phillips curve; regional labour markets; wage curve;

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References

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  1. Bell, Brian & Nickell, Stephen & Quintini, Glenda, 2002. "Wage equations, wage curves and all that," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 341-360, July.
  2. Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2002. "The Last Word on the Wage Curve?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-029/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 13 Mar 2003.
  3. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. André Sapir, 1995. "Introduction," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(6), pages 741-744, November.
  5. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  6. Thiess Buettner, 1999. "The effect of unemployment, aggregate wages, and spatial contiguity on local wages: An investigation with German district level data," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 47-67.
  7. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," NBER Working Papers 11338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
  9. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Estimating a Wage Curve for Britain: 1973-90," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1025-43, September.
  10. Robert J. Flanagan, 1999. "Macroeconomic Performance and Collective Bargaining: An International Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1150-1175, September.
  11. Ammermueller, Andreas & Lucifora, Claudio & Origo, Federica & Zwick, Thomas, 2007. "Still Searching for the Wage Curve: Evidence from Germany and Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 2674, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Lutz Bellmann & Uwe Blien, 2001. "Wage curve analyses of establishment data from western Germany," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 851-863, July.
  13. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
  14. Víctor M. Montuenga-Gómez & José M. Ramos-Parreño, 2005. "Reconciling the Wage Curve and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 735-765, December.
  15. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andini, Corrado, 2014. "Persistence Bias and Schooling Returns," IZA Discussion Papers 8143, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe & Wolf, Katja, 2012. "A dynamic spatial panel data approach to the German wage curve," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 12-21.
  3. Bernard FINGLETON & Silvia PALOMBI, 2013. "The Wage Curve Reconsidered: Is It Truly An 'Empirical Law Of Economics'?," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 38, pages 49-92.
  4. Blien, Uwe & Messmann, Susanne & Trappmann, Mark, 2012. "Do reservation wages react to regional unemployment?," IAB Discussion Paper 201222, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  5. Irineu E. Carvalho Filho & Marcello M. Estevão, 2012. "Institutions, Informality, and Wage Flexibility," IMF Working Papers 12/84, International Monetary Fund.
  6. García-Mainar , Inmaculada & Montuenga-Gómez , Víctor M., 2012. "Wage dynamics in Spain: evidence from individual data (1994-2001)," Investigaciones Regionales, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 24, pages 41-58.
  7. Fingleton, Bernard & Palombi, Silvia, 2013. "Spatial panel data estimation, counterfactual predictions, and local economic resilience among British towns in the Victorian era," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 649-660.
  8. Victor Montuenga & Roberto Bande & Melchor Fernandez, 2011. "Wage flexibility and local labour markets: homogeneity of the wage curve in Spain," ERSA conference papers ersa11p414, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Victor Montuenga & Inmaculada Garcia, 2011. "The wage dynamics in Spain: evidence from individual data," ERSA conference papers ersa11p585, European Regional Science Association.

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