Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle

Contents:

Author Info

  • Pedro S. Martins
  • Gary Solon
  • Jonathan Thomas

Abstract

In models recently published by several influential macroeconomic theorists, rigidity in the real wages that firms pay newly hired workers plays a crucial role in generating realistically large cyclical fluctuations in unemployment. There is remarkably little evidence, however, on whether employers’ hiring wages really are invariant to business cycle conditions. We review the small empirical literature and show that the methods used thus far are poorly suited for identifying employers’ wage practices. We propose a simpler and more relevant approach – use matched employer/employee longitudinal data to identify entry jobs and then directly track the cyclical variation in the real wages paid to workers newly hired into those jobs. We illustrate the methodology by applying it to data from an annual census of employers in Portugal over the period 1982-2007. We find that real entry wages in Portugal over this period tend to be about 1.8 percent higher when the unemployment rate is one percentage point lower. Like most recent evidence on other aspects of wage cyclicality, our results suggest that the cyclical elasticity of wages is similar to that of employment

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15767.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15767.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15767

Note: EFG LS ME
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  2. Martins, Pedro S., 2007. "Heterogeneity in Real Wage Cyclicality," IZA Discussion Papers 2929, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Christian Haefke & Marcus Sonntag & Thijs van Rens, 2006. "Wage Rigidity and Job Creation," 2006 Meeting Papers 773, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Paul J. Devereux, 2004. "Cyclical Quality Adjustment in the Labor Market," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 600-615, January.
  5. Leena Rudanko, 2005. "Labor Market Dynamics under Long Term Wage Contracting," 2005 Meeting Papers 876, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-74, September.
  7. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 525, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. Donggyun Shin & Gary Solon, 2007. "New Evidence On Real Wage Cyclicality Within Employer-Employee Matches," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 648-660, November.
  9. 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.
  10. Motty Perry & Gary Solon, 1984. "Wage Bargaining, Labor Turnover, and the Business Cycle: A Model with Asymmetric Information," NBER Working Papers 1359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0839, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Boldrin, Michael & Horvath, Michael, 1995. "Labor Contracts and Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 972-1004, October.
  14. John Kennan, 2010. "Private Information, Wage Bargaining and Employment Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 633-664.
  15. 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.
  16. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. McLaughlin, Kenneth J & Bils, Mark, 2001. "Interindustry Mobility and the Cyclical Upgrading of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 94-135, January.
  18. Andy Snell & Jonathan Thomas, 2006. "Labor Contracts, Equal Treatment and Wage-Unemployment Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 1835, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. 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).
  20. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," NBER Working Papers 10326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Marianna Kudlyak, 2010. "The cyclical price of labor when wages are smoothed," Working Paper 10-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  23. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  24. Dickins, William T, 1990. "Error Components in Grouped Data: Is It Ever Worth Weighting?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 328-33, May.
  25. 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.
  26. Carneiro, Anabela & Guimaraes, Paulo & Portugal, Pedro, 2009. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 4174, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
  28. Jonathan P Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2007. "Limited Commitment Models of the Labour Market," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2007/11, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
  29. 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.
  30. Robert E. Hall, 1980. "Employment Fluctuations and Wage Rigidity," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(1, Tenth ), pages 91-142.
  31. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  32. Shin, Donggyun, 1994. "Cyclicality of real wages among young men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 137-142, October.
  33. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  34. Marianna Kudlyak, 2011. "The cyclicality of the user cost of labor with search and matching," Working Paper 09-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  35. Gary Solon & Warren Whatley & Ann Huff Stevens, 1997. "Wage changes and intrafirm job mobility over the business cycle: Two case studies," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 402-415, April.
  36. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Hiring Wages are Volatile
    by Agent Continuum in Agent Continuum on 2010-03-08 15:37:59
  2. Some economics of payroll taxes
    by Pedro S. Martins in The Portuguese Economy on 2011-05-16 14:54:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. 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].
  2. Gordon C.R. Kemp & J.M.C. Santos Silva, 2010. "Regression towards the mode," Economics Discussion Papers 686, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  3. Bachmann, Ronald & Bauer, Thomas K. & David, Peggy, 2010. "Labor Market Entry Conditions, Wages and Job Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 4965, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Mário Centeno & Álvaro A. Novo, 2012. "Segmentation," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  5. Michaillat, Pascal, 2011. "Fiscal Multipliers Over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Mary C. Daly & Bart Hobijn & Theodore S. Wiles, 2011. "Aggregate Real Wages: Macro Fluctuations and Micro Drivers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-158/3, Tinbergen Institute.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15767. See general 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: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.