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Heterogeneity In Real Wage Cyclicality

  • Pedro S. Martins

This paper presents evidence that real wage cyclicality can be a particularly heterogeneous parameter, depending on different worker characteristics and also on the specific stage of the business cycle. Using matched employer-employee panel data for Portugal covering the period 1986-2004, real wages are shown to be considerably more procyclical during recessions than during expansions, resulting in relatively moderate overall levels of cyclicality (about -0.6). However, most of the procyclicality during downturns is shown to be driven by the younger employees, as older workers appear to be insulated from the business cycle. Moreover, movers between firms typically display higher cyclicality than workers that stay in the same firm, regardless of whether the latter move or not between job levels. Most results also hold when considering basic wages instead of total wages, except that the procyclicality of movers during downturns is substantially higher.

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Article provided by Scottish Economic Society in its journal Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 684-698

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:54:y:2007:i:5:p:684-698
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  1. Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Real wage cyclicality in the PSID," Working Paper Series 2007-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  3. Carneiro, Anabela & Portugal, Pedro, 2007. "Workers’ Flows and Real Wage Cyclicality," IZA Discussion Papers 2604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Donggyun Shin & Gary Solon, 2007. "New Evidence On Real Wage Cyclicality Within Employer-Employee Matches," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 648-660, November.
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  7. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The cyclicality of real wages within employer-employee matches," Open Access publications 10197/312, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  8. Martins, Pedro S., 2004. "Rent Sharing Before and After the Wage Bill," IZA Discussion Papers 1376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
  12. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2005. "Real wage cyclicality of job stayers, within-company job movers, and between-company job movers," Open Access publications 10197/745, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  13. Barlevy, Gadi, 2001. "Why Are the Wages of Job Changers So Procyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 837-78, October.
  14. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
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  16. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  17. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The cyclicality of hires, separations, and job-to-job transitions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 493-508.
  18. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
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