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Measuring What Employers Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle: A New Approach

  • Pedro S. Martins
  • Gary Solon
  • Jonathan P. Thomas

Rigidity in real hiring wages plays a crucial role in some recent macroeconomic models. But are hiring wages really so noncyclical? We propose using employer/employee longitudinal data to track the cyclical variation in the wages paid to workers newly hired into specific entry jobs. Illustrating the methodology with 1982-2008 data from the Portuguese census of employers, we find real entry wages were about 1.8 percent higher when the unemployment rate was 1 percentage point lower. Like most recent evidence on other aspects of wage cyclicality, our results suggest that the cyclical elasticity of wages is similar to that of employment. (JEL E24, E32, J31, J64)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.4.4.36
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 36-55

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:36-55
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.4.4.36
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-macro
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