IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro S. Martins, 2007. "Heterogeneity In Real Wage Cyclicality," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 684-698, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:54:y:2007:i:5:p:684-698

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pedro Martins, 2009. "Rent sharing before and after the wage bill," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(17), pages 2133-2151.
    2. José Varejão & Pedro Portugal, 2007. "Employment Dynamics and the Structure of Labor Adjustment Costs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 137-165.
    3. Anabela Carneiro & Pedro Portugal, 2004. "Workers' Flows and Real Wage Cyclicality," CEF.UP Working Papers 0402, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    4. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25.
    5. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2006. "Real Wage Cyclicality of Job Stayers, Within-Company Job Movers, and Between-Company Job Movers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 105-119, October.
    6. 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.
    7. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    8. 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.
    9. 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 666-689, August.
    10. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    11. Barlevy, Gadi, 2001. "Why Are the Wages of Job Changers So Procyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 837-878, October.
    12. 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.
    13. 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 665-688, August.
    14. Robert A. Hart, 2006. "Worker-Job Matches, Job Mobility and Real Wage Cyclicality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(290), pages 287-298, May.
    15. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The Cyclicality of Real Wages within Employer-Employee Matches," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 835-850, July.
    16. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, 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. Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Real wage cyclicality in the PSID," Working Paper Series 2007-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. María Cervini-Plá & Antonia López-Villavicencio & José Ignacio Silva, 2015. "The heterogeneous cyclicality of income and wages among the distribution," Working Papers halshs-01133823, HAL.
    2. Anger, Silke, 2011. "The cyclicality of effective wages within employer–employee matches in a rigid labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 786-797.
    3. Hermann Gartner & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2013. "Wage Cyclicality Under Different Regimes of Industrial Relations," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 516-540, April.
    4. Martins, Pedro S., 2008. "Dispersion in wage premiums and firm performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 63-65, October.
    5. Paulino Font & Mario Izquierdo & Sergio Puente, 2015. "Real wage responsiveness to unemployment in Spain: asymmetries along the business cycle," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-13, December.
    6. Verdugo, Gregory, 2016. "Real wage cyclicality in the Eurozone before and during the Great Recession: Evidence from micro data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 46-69.
    7. Anderton, Robert & Maria, José R. & Karšay, Alexander & Szörfi, Béla & Ad hoc team of the European System of Central Banks & Périnet, Mathilde & Petroulas, Pavlos & Beck Nelleman, Peter & Conefrey, Th, 2015. "Comparisons and contrasts of the impact of the crisis on euro area labour markets," Occasional Paper Series 159, European Central Bank.
    8. Stüber, Heiko & Snell, Andy, 2014. "Downward Real Wage Rigidity and Equal Treatment Wage Contracts: Evidence from Germany," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100601, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," Working Papers w200910, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    10. Pedro S. Martins, 2011. "Paying More To Hire The Best? Foreign Firms, Wages, And Worker Mobility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 349-363, April.
    11. Shin Donggyun, 2012. "Cyclicality of Real Wages in Korea," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-19, January.
    12. Sérgio Lagoa & Fátima Suleman, 2016. "Industry- and occupation-specific human capital: evidence from displaced workers," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 44-68, April.
    13. André Cieplinski, 2017. "Employee Control, Work Content and Wages," Department of Economics University of Siena 775, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    14. repec:ecb:ecbops:2008159 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan Thomas, 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan P. Thomas, 2012. "Measuring What Employers Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle: A New Approach," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 36-55, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:54:y:2007:i:5:p:684-698. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.