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The Cyclical Behaviour of Employers' Monopsony Power and Workers' Wages

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  • Hirsch, Boris

    ()
    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Jahn, Elke J.

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

  • Schnabel, Claus

    ()
    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

Abstract

This paper investigates the behaviour of employers' monopsony power and workers' wages over the business cycle. Using German administrative linked employer-employee data for the years 1985-2010 and an estimation framework based on duration models, we construct a time series of the firm-level labour supply elasticity and estimate its relationship to the aggregate unemployment rate. In line with theory, we find that firms possess more monopsony power during economic downturns, which shows to be robust to controlling for time-invariant unobserved worker heterogeneity. We also document that cyclical changes in workers' entry wages are of similar magnitude as those predicted under monopsonistic wage setting, suggesting that monopsony power should not be neglected when analysing wage cyclicality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7776.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7776

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Keywords: monopsony power; business cycle; entry wages;

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  1. Abbring, Jaap H & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2007. "The Unobserved Heterogeneity Distribution in Duration Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6219, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
  3. Bernd Fitzenberger & Aderonke Osikominu & Robert Völter, 2006. "Imputation Rules to Improve the Education Variable in the IAB Employment Subsample," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(3), pages 405-436.
  4. Douglas O. Staiger & Joanne Spetz & Ciaran S. Phibbs, 2010. "Is There Monopsony in the Labor Market? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 211-236, 04.
  5. Hirsch, Boris & Jahn, Elke J., 2012. "Is There Monopsonistic Discrimination against Immigrants? First Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6472, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Orley C. Ashenfelter & Henry Farber & Michael R Ransom, 2010. "Labor Market Monopsony," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 203-210, 04.
  7. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Myriam Quispe‐Agnoli, 2013. "The Expected Impact of State Immigration Legislation on Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(1), pages 34-59, 01.
  8. Herbert Brücker & Elke J. Jahn, 2009. "Migration and Wage-Setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Kiel Working Papers 1502, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  9. Webber, Douglas A., 2013. "Firm-Level Monopsony and the Gender Pay Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 7343, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Barth, Erling & Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2009. "Monopsonistic Discrimination, Worker Turnover, and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 3930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Torberg Falch, 2010. "The Elasticity of Labor Supply at the Establishment Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 237-266, 04.
  12. Boris Hirsch & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2010. "Differences in Labor Supply to Monopsonistic Firms and the Gender Pay Gap: An Empirical Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data from Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 291-330, 04.
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