IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/bejmac/v8y2008i1n15.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD

Author

Listed:
  • Holden Steinar

    (University of Oslo and Norges Bank)

  • Wulfsberg Fredrik

    (Norges Bank)

Abstract

Recent microeconomic studies have documented extensive downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) for job stayers in many OECD countries, but critics argue that the effect might be undone by compositional changes and flexibility in wages of new entrants. Using data for hourly nominal wages at industry level, we explore the existence of DNWR on industry wages in 19 OECD countries, over the period 1973-1999. We propose a novel method to detect DNWR. We reject the hypothesis of no DNWR in the overall sample. The fraction of wage cuts prevented due to DNWR has fallen over time, from 61 percent in the 1970s to 16 percent in the late 1990s, but the number of industries affected by DNWR has increased. DNWR is more prevalent when unemployment is low and union density is high. Strict employment protection legislation also leads to fewer wage cuts.

Suggested Citation

  • Holden Steinar & Wulfsberg Fredrik, 2008. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-50, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:15
    DOI: 10.2202/1935-1690.1651
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.2202/1935-1690.1651
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.2202/1935-1690.1651?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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

    as
    1. Alan S. Blinder & Don H. Choi, 1990. "A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1003-1015.
    2. 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.
    3. Steinar Holden, 1998. "Wage Drift and the Relevance of Centralised Wage Setting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(4), pages 711-731, December.
    4. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
    5. Jonas Agell & Per Lundborg, 2003. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity and Unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 15-30, March.
    6. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Elsby, Michael W.L., 2009. "Evaluating the economic significance of downward nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 154-169, March.
    10. Thomas Bauer & Holger Bonin & Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Micro Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 508-529, November.
    11. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, June.
    12. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 2019. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 52(4), pages 537-571.
    13. George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2000. "Near-Rational Wage and Price Setting and the Long-Run Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 1-60.
    14. 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.
    15. Holden, Steinar, 1998. " Wage Drift and the Relevance of Centralised Wage Setting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(4), pages 711-731, December.
    16. 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.
    17. Wyplosz, Charles, 2001. "Do We Know How Low Inflation Should Be?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Karanassou, Marika & Sala, Hector & Snower, Dennis J., 2005. "A reappraisal of the inflation-unemployment tradeoff," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-32, March.
    19. Christoph Knoppik & Thomas Beissinger, 2003. "How Rigid are Nominal Wages? Evidence and Implications for Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 619-641, December.
    20. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    21. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
    22. Holden, Steinar, 1997. "Wage Bargaining, Holdout, and Inflation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 235-255, April.
    23. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-837, September.
    24. Steinar Holden, 2004. "The Costs of Price Stability: Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(281), pages 183-208, May.
    25. Louis N. Christofides & Man Tuen Leung, 2003. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in Contract Data: A Parametric Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(280), pages 619-638, November.
    26. 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.
    27. 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.
    28. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
    29. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
    30. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
    31. Holden, Steinar, 1994. "Wage bargaining and nominal rigidities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1021-1039, May.
    32. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 469-479, 04/05.
    33. David E. Lebow & David J. Stockton & William L. Wascher, 1995. "Inflation, nominal wage rigidity, and the efficiency of labor markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    34. Orietta DESSY, 2004. "Nominal wage flexibility and institutions: preliminary micro-evidence from the Europanel," Departmental Working Papers 2004-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    35. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Working Paper 2004/5, Norges Bank.
    2. Holden , Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2009. "Wage Rigidity, Institutions, and Inflation," Memorandum 03/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe (new title: The costs of price stability - downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe)," CESifo Working Paper Series 1177, CESifo.
    4. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "Are real wages rigid downwards?," Working Paper 2007/01, Norges Bank.
    5. Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Wage formation under low inflation," Memorandum 09/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    6. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2014. "Wage Rigidity, Inflation, and Institutions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(2), pages 539-569, April.
    7. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    8. Barno Blaes, 2008. "Ausmaß und reale Konsequenzen nach unten starrer Nominallöhne," Working Papers 048, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    9. Pierpaolo Benigno & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2008. "The Inflation-Unemployment Trade-Off at Low Inflation," NBER Working Papers 13986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2009. "How strong is the macroeconomic case for downward real wage rigidity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 605-615, May.
    11. Pierpaolo Benigno & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2011. "The Inflation-Output Trade-Off with Downward Wage Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1436-1466, June.
    12. de Ridder, M. & Pfajfar, D., 2017. "Policy Shocks and Wage Rigidities: Empirical Evidence from Regional Effects of National Shocks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1717, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    13. Daniel Schäfer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Nominal Wage Adjustments and the Composition of Pay: New Evidence from Payroll Data," Economics working papers 2020-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    14. Elsby, Michael W.L., 2009. "Evaluating the economic significance of downward nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 154-169, March.
    15. Ana María Iregui B. & Ligia Alba Melo B. & María Teresa Ramírez G., 2009. "Are wages rigid in Colombia?: Empirical evidence based on a sample of wages at the firm level," Borradores de Economia 571i, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    16. Bruce Fallick & Michael Lettau & William L. Wascher, 2016. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United States during and after the Great Recession," Working Papers (Old Series) 1602, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    17. Thomas Beissinger & Chritoph Knoppik, 2005. "Sind Nominallöhne starr? Neuere Evidenz und wirtschaftspolitische Implikationen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 171-188, May.
    18. Anne Kathrin Funk & Daniel Kaufmann, 2022. "Do Sticky Wages Matter? New Evidence from Matched Firm Survey and Register Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 89(355), pages 689-712, July.
    19. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2010. "Downward Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity: Survey Evidence from European Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 884-910, December.
    20. M. Ali Choudhary & Saima Mahmood & Sajawal Khan & Waqas Ahmed & Gylfi Zoega, 2013. "Sticky Wages in a Developing Country: Lessons from Structured Interviews in Pakistan," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0213, School of Economics, University of Surrey.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:bpj:bejmac:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:15. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Peter Golla (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    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.