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In Search of a Stylised Fact: Do Real Wages Exhibit a Consistent Pattern of Cyclical Variability?

  • Brandolini, Andrea

The paper surveys the studies on the cyclical behavior of real wages published from the twenties onwards. Both traditional simple neoclassical and Keynesian models of the labour market suggest that real wages tend to move countercyclically. However, from a theoretical viewpoint, there are few reasons to expect this behavior, once the simple model is extended to account for imperfect competition, uncertainty, lagged responses, or contracting between firms and workers. Empirical studies give different answers to the problem. The contributions reviewed in the paper are arranged roughly in chronological order: the interwar period, the postwar pre-econometric studies, the econometric work using aggregate data, the evidence produced on the basis of longitudinal data, the analyses of the shock-responsiveness of real wages, and, finally, the most recent papers attempting a reconciliation of the somewhat conflicting evidence derived from aggregate and panel data. Copyright 1995 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 9 (1995)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 103-63

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:9:y:1995:i:2:p:103-63
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