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Nominal Wage Rigidity in Australia

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  • Jacqueline Dwyer

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Kenneth Leong

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

The existence of downward nominal price and wage rigidity has been used to argue against the adoption of zero inflation targets. A good deal is known about the nature and extent of price flexibility in Australia. However, little is known about nominal wage flexibility since investigations have been hindered by a lack of suitable data. Using a unique and unpublished microdata set, we find strong evidence of downward nominal wage rigidity. The idea that firms are able to circumvent wage rigidity by varying broader forms of remuneration is not supported by our study. We find that these broad measures are still skewed away from pay cuts, though to a lesser extent than wages. Not all of the observed rigidity is binding, though, since skewness away from wage cuts appears to occur for reasons other than downward wage rigidity. However, the extent of rigidity we do observe lends support to the pursuit of small positive rates of inflation as an objective of monetary policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2000-08.

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Date of creation: Nov 2000
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Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2000-08

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Keywords: nominal wage rigidity; skewness away from wage cuts;

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Cited by:
  1. Beissinger, Thomas & Knoppik, Christoph, 2003. "Sind Nominallöhne starr? Neuere Evidenz und wirtschaftspolitische Implikationen," IZA Discussion Papers 800, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Yi-Ping Tseng, 2001. "Individuals’ Wage Changes in Australia 1997-2000," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2001n04, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Coleman, Simeon, 2012. "Where Does the Axe Fall? Inflation Dynamics and Poverty Rates: Regional and Sectoral Evidence for Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2454-2467.
  4. Ana María Iregui B. & Ligia Alba Melo B. & María Teresa Ramírez G., . "Are wages rigid in Colombia?: Empirical evidence based on a sample of wages at the firm level," Borradores de Economia 571i, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  5. Michał Brzoza-Brzezina & Jacek Socha, 2007. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Poland," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 41, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  6. Knoppik, Christoph, 2007. "Skewness and Location of Distributions of Wage Change Rates in the Presence of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 420, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Anne-Marie Brook & Özer Karagedikli & Dean Scrimgeour, 2002. "An optimal inflation target for New Zealand: lessons from the literature," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 65, September.
  8. Castellanos, Sara G. & Garcia-Verdu, Rodrigo & Kaplan, David S., 2004. "Nominal wage rigidities in Mexico: evidence from social security records," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 507-533, December.
  9. Dias, Daniel A. & Marques, Carlos Robalo & Martins, Fernando, 2013. "Wage rigidity and employment adjustment at the firm level: Evidence from survey data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 40-49.
  10. Sara Gabriela Castellanos Pascacio & Rodrigo García Verdú & David Kaplan, 2004. "Wage Rigidities in Mexico: Evidence from the Administrative Records of the Mexican Social Security Institute (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social)," Working Papers 2004-03, Banco de México.
  11. Pierre Fortin & George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2002. "Inflation and Unemployment in the U.S. and Canada: A Common Framework," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 20-16, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
  12. Fernando Martins, 2013. "Survey evidence on price and wage rigidities in Portugal," Working Papers w201312, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  13. Ana María Iregui & Ligia Alba Melo & María Teresa Ramírez, 2009. "Rigideces de los salarios a la baja en Colombia: Evidencia empírica a partir de una muestra de salarios a nivel de firma," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 005757, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.

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