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The provision of wage insurance by the firm: evidence from a longitudinal matched employer-employee dataset

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We evaluate the impact of product market uncertainty on workers wages, addressing the questions: To what extent do firms provide insurance to their workforce, insulating their wages from shocks in product markets? How does the amount of insurance provided vary with firm and worker attributes? We use a longitudinal matched employer-employee dataset of remarkable quality. The empirical strategy is based on Guiso et al. (2005). We first estimate dynamic models of sales and wages to retrieve consistent estimates of shocks to firms’ sales and to workers’ earnings. We are then able to estimate the sensitivity of wages to permanent and transitory shocks to firm performance. Results point to the rejection of the full insurance hypothesis. Workers’ wages respond to permanent shocks to firm performance, whereas they are not sensitive to transitory shocks. Managers are not fully insured against transitory shocks, while they receive the same protection against permanent shocks as workers in other occupations. Firms with higher variability in their sales, and those operating in di?erent industries, o?er more insurance against permanent shocks. Comparison with Guiso et al. (2005) indicates that Portuguese firms provide less insurance than Italian firms, corroborating evidence on the high degree of wage flexibility in Portugal.

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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 17/2005.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:17/2005

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Cited by:
  1. Strawczynski, Michel & Zeira, Joseph, 2009. "Cyclicality of Fiscal Policy: Permanent and Transitory Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Horny, Guillaume & Mendes, Rute & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2009. "Job Durations with Worker and Firm Specific Effects: MCMC Estimation with Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3992, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kátay, Gábor, 2008. "Do firms provide wage insurance against shocks? Evidence from Hungary," Working Paper Series 0964, European Central Bank.
  4. Fuss, Catherine & Wintr, Ladislav, 2009. "Rigid labour compensation and flexible employment? Firm-level evidence with regard to productivity for Belgium," Working Paper Series 1021, European Central Bank.
  5. Fuss, Catherine, 2009. "What is the most flexible component of wage bill adjustment? Evidence from Belgium," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 320-329, June.
  6. Emmanuel Dhyne & Jerzy Konieczny & Fabio Rumler & Patrick Sevestre, 2009. "Price rigidity in the euro area - An assessment," European Economy - Economic Papers 380, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

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