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How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project

Author

Listed:
  • William T. Dickens
  • Lorenz Goette
  • Erica L. Groshen
  • Steinar Holden
  • Julian Messina
  • Mark E. Schweitzer
  • Jarkko Turunen
  • Melanie E. Ward

Abstract

Workers' wages are not set in a spot market. Instead, the wages of most workers -- at least those who do not switch jobs -- typically change only annually and are mediated by a complex set of institutions and factors such as contracts, unions, standards of fairness, minimum wage policy, transfers of risk, and incomplete information. The goal of the International Wage Flexibility Project (IWFP) -- a consortium of over 40 researchers with access to individual workers' earnings data for 16 countries -- is to provide new microeconomic evidence on how wages change for continuing workers. We investigate the extent of wage flexibility, with a particular focus on the extent of downward wage rigidity; and explore how measures of wage flexibility are affected by the wage-setting regimes that typically vary by country.

Suggested Citation

  • William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:21:y:2007:i:2:p:195-214
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.21.2.195
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.21.2.195
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2003. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 762-781, October.
    2. Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Wage formation under low inflation," Memorandum 09/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-715, September.
    4. Christoph Knoppik & Thomas Beissinger, 2009. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe: an analysis of European micro data from the ECHP 1994–2001," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 321-338, May.
    5. Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999. "The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 361-408, October.
    7. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie Ward, 2006. "The interaction of labor markets and inflation: analysis of micro data from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
    9. Lebow David E & Saks Raven E & Wilson Beth Anne, 2003. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity: Evidence from the Employment Cost Index," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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