The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity
AbstractUsing the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we find that true wage changes have many fewer nominal cuts and more nominal freezes than reported nominal wage changes. The data overwhelmingly rejects a model of flexible wage changes and provides some evidence against a model of perfect downward rigidity in favor of a more general model. The more general model incorporates downward rigidity but specifies that nominal wage cuts may occur when large cuts would occur in the absence of wage rigidity. However, the results of the general model imply that nominal wage cuts are rare. We also analyze the personnel files of a large corporation and find cuts in base pay are rare and almost always associated with changes in full time status or a switch between compensation schemes involving incentives. Our evidence on the consequences of nominal wage rigidity is mixed. We find modest support for the hypothesis that workers who are overpaid because of nominal wage rigidity are less likely to quit.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7236.
Date of creation: Jul 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Polachek, Solomon W. (ed.) Worker well-being, Research in Labor Economics, vol. 19. Amsterdam. New York and Tokyo: Elsevier Science, JAI, 2000.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-07-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-1999-07-28 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-LAB-1999-07-28 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LTV-1999-09-01 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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.:
- Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991.
"The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
- John Bound & Alan B. Krueger, 1989. "The Extent of Measurement Error In Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make A Right?," NBER Working Papers 2885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
- Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1995.
"Does Inflation 'Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market'?,"
735, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997. "Does Inflation “Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market”?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1996. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Working Papers 5538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenneth J. McLaughlin, 1999. "Are nominal wage changes skewed away from wage cuts?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 117-132.
- Stephen Nickell & D. Nicolitsas, 1994.
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
51644, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- 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.
- Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, July.
- 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.
- 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.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading lists or Wikipedia pages: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: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.