The Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity
AbstractRecent studies found evidence for nominal wage rigidity during periods of relatively high nominal GDP growth. It has been argued, however, that in an environment with low nominal GDP growth, when nominal wage cuts become customary, workers’ opposition to nominal cuts would erode and, hence, firms would no longer hesitate to reduce nominal pay. If this argument is valid nominal wage rigidity is largely irrelevant because in a high-growth environment there is little need to cut nominal pay while in a low-growth environment the necessary cuts would occur. To examine this argument we use data from Switzerland where nominal GDP growth has been very low for many years in the 1990s. We find that the rigidity of nominal wages is a robust phenomenon that does not vanish in a low growth environment. In addition, it constitutes a considerable obstacle to real wage adjustments. In the absence of downward nominal rigidity, real wages would indeed be quite responsive to unemployment. Moreover, the wage sweep-ups caused by nominal rigidity are strongly correlated with unemployment suggesting that downward rigidity of nominal wages indeed contributes to unemployment.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1343.
Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Fehr, Ernst, 2000. "The Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 2516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
- E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-09-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBA-2007-09-02 (Central Banking)
- NEP-CBE-2007-09-02 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2007-09-02 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2007-09-02 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David E. Lebow & Raven E. Saks & Beth Anne Wilson, 1999. "Downward nominal wage rigidity: evidence from the employment cost index," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999.
"The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity,"
NBER Working Papers
7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Devereux, Paul J. & Altonji, Joseph G., 2000. "The extent and consequences of downward nominal wage rigidity," Open Access publications from University College Dublin urn:hdl:10197/311, University College Dublin.
- Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999.
"Empirical strategies in labor economics,"
Handbook of Labor Economics,
in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366
- Steinar Holden, 1999. "Renegotiation and the Efficiency of Investments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(1), pages 106-119, Spring.
- Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989.
"Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
- W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003.
"Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market,"
Labor and Demography
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
- Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1993.
"Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms,"
Working Paper Series
380, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
- Agell, J. & Lundborg, P., 1992. "Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Papers 1993-8, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
- repec:wop:humbsf:1996-65 is not listed on IDEAS
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000.
"Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
336, CESifo Group Munich.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Topel, Robert H, 1991.
"Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
- Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Beth Anne Wilson, 1999. "Wage rigidity: a look inside the firm," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Alan S. Blinder & Don H. Choi, 1989.
"A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness,"
NBER Working Papers
3105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blinder, Alan S & Choi, Don H, 1990. "A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1003-15, November.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-37, September.
- Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
- McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
- George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
- repec:pri:indrel:735 is not listed on IDEAS
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dieter Stribny).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.