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How selective are real wage cuts? A micro-analysis using linked employer-employee data

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  • Hirsch, Boris
  • Zwick, Thomas

Abstract

Using linked employer-employee panel data for Germany, this paper investigates whether firms implement real wage reductions in a selective manner. In line with insider-outsider and several strands of efficiency wage theory, we find strong evidence for selective wage cuts with high-productivity workers being spared even when controlling for permanent differences in firms' wage policies. In contrast to some recent contributions stressing fairness considerations, we also find that wage cuts increase wage dispersion among peers rather than narrowing it. Notably, the same selectivity pattern shows up when restricting our analysis to firms covered by collective agreements or having a works council. -- Unter Verwendung verknüpfter Arbeitgeber-Arbeitnehmer-Paneldaten für Deutschland untersucht diese Studie, ob Reallohnkürzungen selektiv vorgenommen werden. Im Einklang mit der Insider-Outsider-Theorie und mehreren Varianten der Effizienzlohntheorie finden wir deutliche Hinweise auf selektive Lohnreduktionen zugunsten hochproduktiver Arbeitnehmer, selbst wenn für unbeobachtete permanente Unterschiede in den Lohnpolitiken der Firmen kontrolliert wird. Im Widerspruch zu jüngeren Arbeiten, die Fairnessüberlegungen ins Zentrum stellen, finden wir zudem, dass selektive Lohnkürzungen die Lohndispersion innerhalb von Peergruppen erhöhen. Bemerkenswerterweise zeigen sich die gleichen Selektivitätsmuster auch für die Subgruppen tarifgebundener Firmen und solcher mit einem Betriebsrat.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 88.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:88

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Web page: http://www.arbeitsmarkt.wiso.uni-erlangen.de/english-version/
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Keywords: real wage rigidity; real wage cuts; selectivity; Germany;

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