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Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity

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Author Info

  • Carneiro, Anabela

    ()
    (University of Porto)

  • Guimaraes, Paulo

    ()
    (University of Porto)

  • Portugal, Pedro

    ()
    (Banco de Portugal)

Abstract

Using a longitudinal matched employer-employee data set for Portugal over the 1986-2005 period, this study analyzes the heterogeneity in wages responses to aggregate labor market conditions for newly hired workers and existing workers. Accounting for both worker and firm heterogeneity, the data support the hypothesis that entry wages are much more procyclical than current wages. A one-point increase in the unemployment rate decreases wages of newly hired male workers by around 2.8% and by just 1.4% for workers in continuing jobs. Since we estimate the fixed effects, we were able to show that unobserved heterogeneity plays a non-trivial role in the cyclicality of wages. In particular, worker fixed effects of new hires and separating workers behave countercyclically, whereas firm fixed effects exhibit a procyclical pattern. Finally, the results reveal, for all workers, a wage-productivity elasticity of 1.2, slightly above the one-for-one response predicted by the Mortensen-Pissarides model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4174.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker, Firm and Job-Title Heterogeneity' in American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2012, 4(2)
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4174

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Related research

Keywords: labor productivity; compositional effects; firm-specific effects; hires; wage cyclicality;

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References

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  1. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The Cyclicality of real wages within employer-employee matches," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 835-850, July.
  2. Brandolini, Andrea, 1995. " In Search of a Stylised Fact: Do Real Wages Exhibit a Consistent Pattern of Cyclical Variability?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 103-63, June.
  3. Pedro S. Martins, 2007. "Heterogeneity In Real Wage Cyclicality," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 684-698, November.
  4. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2012. "Wage Rigidity and Job Creation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8968, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Guimaraes, Paulo & Portugal, Pedro, 2009. "A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 3935, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  8. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Adjustment within the euro. The difficult case of Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, April.
  9. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert & Runkle, David, 1988. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Estimating the Impact of Heterogeneity with Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1232-66, December.
  10. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  11. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2009. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1339-1369, 09.
  12. Robert A. Hart, 2006. "Worker-Job Matches, Job Mobility and Real Wage Cyclicality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(290), pages 287-298, 05.
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  14. Barlevy, Gadi, 2001. "Why Are the Wages of Job Changers So Procyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 837-78, October.
  15. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2005. "Real Wage Cyclicality of Job Stayers, Within-Company Job Movers, and Between-Company Job Movers," IZA Discussion Papers 1651, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Arthur M. Okun, 1973. "Upward Mobility in a High-Pressure Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 207-262.
  17. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
  18. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  19. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Shin, Donggyun, 1994. "Cyclicality of real wages among young men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 137-142, October.
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  22. Bowlus, Audra J, 1995. "Matching Workers and Jobs: Cyclical Fluctuations in Match Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 335-50, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. John T. Addison & Orgul D.Ozturk & Si Wang, 2013. "Job Promotion in Mid-Career: Gender, Recession and ‘Crowding’," GEMF Working Papers 2013-16, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  2. Martins, Pedro S. & Opromolla, Luca David, 2011. "Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels," IZA Discussion Papers 6013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kilponen, Juha & Vanhala, Juuso, 2009. "Productivity and job flows: heterogeneity of new hires and continuing jobs in the business cycle," Working Paper Series 1080, European Central Bank.
  4. Mário Centeno & Álvaro A. Novo, 2012. "Segmentation," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  5. Martins, Pedro S. & Opromolla, Luca David, 2009. "Exports, Imports and Wages: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker-Product Panels," IZA Discussion Papers 4646, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Martins, Pedro S. & Solon, Gary & Thomas, Jonathan P., 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 4757, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Anger, Silke, 2011. "The Cyclicality of Effective Wages within Employer-Employee Matches in a Rigid Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Emmanuel Saez & Pascal Michaillat, 2013. "A Theory of Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand as Functions of Market Tightness with Prices as Parameters," 2013 Meeting Papers 1216, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. 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.
  10. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David, 2013. "Managers’ mobility, trade performance, and wages," Working Paper Series 1596, European Central Bank.
  11. Stüber, Heiko, 2012. "Are real entry wages rigid over the business cycle? : Empirical evidence for Germany from 1977 to 2009," IAB Discussion Paper 201206, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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