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Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity

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Author Info

  • Anabela Carneiro

    ()
    (cef.up, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Paulo Guimaraes

    ()
    (University of South Carolina, cef.up, and IZA Bonn)

  • Pedro Portugal

    ()
    (Banco de Portugal, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, and IZA Bonn)

Abstract

Using a longitudinal matched employer-employee data set for Portugal over the 1986-2005 period, this study analyzes the heterogeneity in wages responses to aggregate labor market conditions for newly hired workers and existing workers. Accounting for both worker and firm heterogeneity, the data support the hypothesis that entry wages are much more procyclical than current wages. A one-point increase in the unemployment rate decreases wages of newly hired male workers by around 2.8% and by just 1.4% for workers in continuing jobs. Since we estimate the fixed effects, we were able to show that unobserved heterogeneity plays a non-trivial role in the cyclicality of wages. In particular, worker fixed effects of new hires and separating workers behave countercyclically, whereas firm fixed effects exhibit a procyclical pattern. Finally, the results reveal, for all workers, a wage-productivity elasticity of 1.2, slightly above the one-for-one response predicted by the Mortensen-Pissarides model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series CEF.UP Working Papers with number 0903.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:0903

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Keywords: wage cyclicality; hires; firm-specific effects; compositional effects; labor productivity;

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References

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  1. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert & Runkle, David, 1988. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Estimating the Impact of Heterogeneity with Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1232-66, December.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," Working Papers w200909, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  5. Shin, Donggyun, 1994. "Cyclicality of real wages among young men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 137-142, October.
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  8. Brandolini, Andrea, 1995. " In Search of a Stylised Fact: Do Real Wages Exhibit a Consistent Pattern of Cyclical Variability?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 103-63, June.
  9. Christopher Pissarides, 2007. "The unemployment volatility puzzle: is wage stickiness the answer?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4460, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2013. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 887-899.
  11. Bowlus, Audra J, 1995. "Matching Workers and Jobs: Cyclical Fluctuations in Match Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 335-50, April.
  12. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Adjustment within the euro. The difficult case of Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, April.
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  16. 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.
  17. Barlevy, Gadi, 2001. "Why Are the Wages of Job Changers So Procyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 837-78, October.
  18. 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.
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  21. 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).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anger, Silke, 2011. "The Cyclicality of Effective Wages within Employer–Employee Matches in a Rigid Labor Market," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 786-797.
  2. John T. Addison & Orgul D.Ozturk & Si Wang, 2013. "Job Promotion in Mid-Career: Gender, Recession and ‘Crowding’," GEMF Working Papers 2013-16, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  3. Pedro Martins & Luca David Opromolla, 2011. "Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels," Working Papers w201123, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  4. Emmanuel Saez & Pascal Michaillat, 2013. "A Theory of Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand as Functions of Market Tightness with Prices as Parameters," 2013 Meeting Papers 1216, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Kilponen , Juha & Vanhala, Juuso, 2009. "Productivity and job flows: Heterogeneity of new hires and continuing jobs in the business cycle," Research Discussion Papers 15/2009, Bank of Finland.
  6. Pedro Martins & Luca David Opromolla, 2010. "Exports, Imports and Wages:Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker-Product Panels," Working Papers w201002, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. 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].
  8. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David, 2013. "Managers’ mobility, trade performance, and wages," Working Paper Series 1596, European Central Bank.
  9. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan Thomas, 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mário Centeno & Álvaro A. Novo, 2012. "Segmentation," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  11. González de San Román, Ainara & Rebollo-Sanz, Yolanda F., 2014. "An estimation of worker and firm effects with censored data," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-28, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  12. Maritza López-Novella & Salimata Sissoko, 2009. "Working Paper 12-09 - Salaires et négociation collective en Belgique : une analyse microéconomique en panel," Working Papers 0912, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.

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