On the Cyclicality and Stability of Real Earnings
AbstractWe show in this paper that important insights into the cyclical behavior of wages can be gained by dividing (real) average hourly earnings into their straight-time hourly wage and overtime components. Our motivation is based on the idea of employment-contingent contracts. BLS published and unpublished statistics are used to decompose average earnings into (i) the straight-time wage rate, (ii) the ‘mark-up’ needed to achieve an overtime workers earnings rate, and (iii) the proportion of workers working overtime. Using monthly manufacturing data from 1962-1997, cyclicality measures of these components are based on contemporaneous bivariate correlations using four alternative detrending methods while stability is examined using recursive estimation and testing methods. While the wage rate is generally acyclical and unstable, the other two components are highly pro-cyclical and relatively stable.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 45.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jun 1999
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
- J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
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