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Downward Wage Regidity for Different Workers and Firms

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  • Philip Du Caju
  • Catherine Fuss
  • Ladislav Wintr

Abstract

This paper evaluates the extent of downward nominal and real wage rigidity for differentcategories of workers and firms using the methodology developed by the International WageFlexibility Project (IWFP). The analysis is based on an administrative data set on individualearnings, covering one-third of employees of the private sector in Belgium over the period1990-2002. Our results show that Belgium is characterised by strong real wage rigidity and verylow nominal wage rigidity, consistent with the typical wage formation system of full indexation.Real rigidity is stronger for white-collar workers than for blue-collar workers. Real rigiditydecreases with age and wage level. Wage rigidity appears to be lower in firms experiencingdownturns. Finally, smaller firms and firms with lower job quit rates appear to have more rigidwages. Our results are in line with standard labour market theories and are robust to alternativemeasures of wage rigidity.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2012. "Downward Wage Regidity for Different Workers and Firms," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 55(1), pages 5-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:2013/130010
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2013. "Why firms avoid cutting wages: Survey evidence from European firms," Working Paper Research 251, National Bank of Belgium.
    3. P. Du Caju & C. Fuss & L. Wintr, 2012. "Sectoral differences in downward real wage rigidity: workforce composition, institutions, technology and competition," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 45(1), pages 7-22, March.
    4. Marianna Cervena, 2012. "Base Wage Rigidities: Evidence From a Survey of Slovak Firms," Working and Discussion Papers WP 3/2012, Research Department, National Bank of Slovakia.
    5. Boris Hirsch & Thomas Zwick, 2015. "How Selective Are Real Wage Cuts? A Micro-analysis Using Linked Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(4), pages 327-347, December.
    6. Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2009. "Understanding sectoral differences in downward real wage rigidity : workforce composition, institutions, technology and competition," Working Paper Research 156, National Bank of Belgium.
    7. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2015. "Why Firms Avoid Cutting Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(4), pages 862-888, August.
    8. Druant, Martine & Fabiani, Silvia & Kezdi, Gabor & Lamo, Ana & Martins, Fernando & Sabbatini, Roberto, 2012. "Firms' price and wage adjustment in Europe: Survey evidence on nominal stickiness," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 772-782.
    9. Daniel Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques & Fernando Martins, 2013. "The determinants of downward wage rigidity: Some methodological considerations and new empirical evidence," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage ridigity; matched employer-employee data;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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