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

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  3. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  4. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2008. "Wage Rigidity and Job Creation," IZA Discussion Papers 3714, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Ch. Pissarides., 2011. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Martins, Pedro S., 2007. "Heterogeneity in Real Wage Cyclicality," IZA Discussion Papers 2929, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Adjustment within the euro. The difficult case of Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, April.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," Working Papers w200909, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  16. A Brandolini, 1993. "In Search of a Stylised Fact: Do Real Wages Exhibit a Consistent Pattern of Cyclical Variability?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0112, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Robert E. Hall, 2003. "Modern Theory of Unemployment Fluctuations: Empirics and Policy Applications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 145-150, May.
  20. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
  21. 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.
  22. Shin, Donggyun, 1994. "Cyclicality of real wages among young men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 137-142, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anger, Silke, 2011. "The Cyclicality of Effective Wages within Employer–Employee Matches in a Rigid Labor Market," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 786-797.
  2. 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.
  3. Pedro Martins & Luca David Opromolla, 2010. "Exports, Imports and Wages:Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker-Product Panels," Working Papers w201002, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  4. 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.
  5. 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].
  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. 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.
  8. González de San Román, Ainara & Rebollo-Sanz, Yolanda F., 2014. "An estimation of worker and firm effects with censored data," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-28, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  9. Pedro Martins & Luca David Opromolla, 2011. "Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels," Working Papers w201123, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  10. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David, 2013. "Managers’ mobility, trade performance, and wages," Working Paper Series 1596, European Central Bank.
  11. 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.
  12. Mário Centeno & Álvaro A. Novo, 2012. "Segmentation," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

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