IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/dyncon/v37y2013i12p2796-2813.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Performance pay and changes in U.S. labor market dynamics

Author

Listed:
  • Nucci, Francesco
  • Riggi, Marianna

Abstract

A shift in the design of labor compensation occurred at around the mid-1980s in the U.S. and deals with an increased role of performance pay in driving the cyclical movements of wages. Using a DSGE model we show that this structural change accounts at least qualitatively for many observed changes in the U.S. labor market dynamics. It generates the disappearance of the procyclical response of labor productivity to non-technology shocks and the reduction of the contractionary effects of technology shocks on hours. Moreover, it is conducive to a drop in the volatility of output, a parallel increase in the volatility of wages and to changes in unconditional correlations consistent with what documented in the U.S. between the pre- and post-1984 periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Nucci, Francesco & Riggi, Marianna, 2013. "Performance pay and changes in U.S. labor market dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2796-2813.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:37:y:2013:i:12:p:2796-2813
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2013.07.006
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165188913001644
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jedc.2013.07.006?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 search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gali, Jordi & Lopez-Salido, J. David & Valles, Javier, 2003. "Technology shocks and monetary policy: assessing the Fed's performance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 723-743, May.
    2. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    3. Juillard, Michael & Kamenik, Ondra & Kumhof, Michael & Laxton, Douglas, 2008. "Optimal price setting and inflation inertia in a rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 2584-2621, August.
    4. Miles S. Kimball & John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 2006. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1418-1448, December.
    5. Thomas Lemieux & W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 2009. "Performance Pay and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-49.
    6. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
    7. Mark Gertler & Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari, 2008. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1713-1764, December.
    8. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    9. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2011. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247, April.
    10. Ali Dib, 2003. "An estimated Canadian DSGE model with nominal and real rigidities," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 36(4), pages 949-972, November.
    11. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg (ed.), 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026252242x.
    12. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Consolo, Agostino & Favero, Carlo A., 2009. "Monetary policy inertia: More a fiction than a fact?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 900-906, September.
    14. Michael Dotsey, 2002. "Structure from shocks," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 37-47.
    15. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Galí, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
    16. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2008. "The Time-Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 604-641, June.
    17. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 35-65, February.
    18. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
    20. Francis, Neville & Ramey, Valerie A., 2005. "Is the technology-driven real business cycle hypothesis dead? Shocks and aggregate fluctuations revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1379-1399, November.
    21. Sbordone, Argia M., 1996. "Cyclical productivity in a model of labor hoarding," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 331-361, October.
    22. Alexopoulos, Michelle, 2004. "Unemployment and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 277-298, March.
    23. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    24. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    25. Fairise, Xavier & Langot, Francois, 1994. "Labor productivity and the business cycle: Can R.B.C. models be saved?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1581-1594, October.
    26. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Jean Boivin & Marc Giannoni, 2001. "Has monetary policy become less powerful?," Staff Reports 144, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    28. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    29. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J. & McGrattan, Ellen R., 2008. "Are structural VARs with long-run restrictions useful in developing business cycle theory?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1337-1352, November.
    30. Bils, Mark & Cho, Jang-Ok, 1994. "Cyclical factor utilization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 319-354, April.
    31. Söderlind, Paul & Söderström, Ulf & Vredin, Anders, 2005. "Dynamic Taylor Rules And The Predictability Of Interest Rates," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 412-428, June.
    32. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
    33. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Estimation and control of an optimization-based model with sticky prices and wages," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1181-1215, May.
    34. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    35. Riggi, Marianna, 2019. "Capital Destruction, Jobless Recoveries, And The Discipline Device Role Of Unemployment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 590-624, March.
    36. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2005. "How Does Product Market Competition Shape Incentive Contracts?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1058-1082, September.
    37. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S. & Xu, Y., 1996. "Effort and the Cycle : Cyclical Implications of Efficiency Wages," Discussion Paper 1996-49, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    38. Riggi, Marianna & Tancioni, Massimiliano, 2010. "Nominal vs real wage rigidities in New Keynesian models with hiring costs: A Bayesian evaluation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1305-1324, July.
    39. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 653-691.
    40. Marianna Riggi & Massimiliano Tancioni, 2008. "Nominal v. Real Wage Rigidities in New Keynesian Models with Hiring Costs," Working Papers in Public Economics 107, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Economics and Law.
    41. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2009. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives inside the Firm: The Effect of Foreign Competition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 179-212, April.
    42. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
    43. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 445-462, August.
    44. Kuester, Keith, 2010. "Real price and wage rigidities with matching frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 466-477, May.
    45. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    46. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1.
    47. Fernald, John G., 2007. "Trend breaks, long-run restrictions, and contractionary technology improvements," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2467-2485, November.
    48. Dynan Karen & Elmendorf Douglas & Sichel Daniel, 2012. "The Evolution of Household Income Volatility," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-42, December.
    49. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563, Elsevier.
    50. Thomas Lemieux & W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 2012. "Contract Form, Wage Flexibility, and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 526-531, May.
    51. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
    52. Chatrerji, Monojit & Sparks, Roger, 1991. "Real wages, productivity, and the cycle: An efficiency wage model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 495-510.
    53. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2011. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247, April.
    54. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Productivity and unemployment over the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 1013-1025, November.
    55. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S. & Xu, Y., 1996. "Effort and the Cycle : Cyclical Implications of Efficiency Wages," Other publications TiSEM dc793f82-7aaa-4ad9-8af4-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Champagne, Julien & Kurmann, André & Stewart, Jay, 2017. "Reconciling the divergence in aggregate U.S. wage series," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 27-41.
    2. Julien Champagne, 2015. "The Carrot and the Stick: The Business Cycle Implications of Incentive Pay in the Labor Search Model," Staff Working Papers 15-35, Bank of Canada.
    3. Cantore, Cristiano & Ferroni, Filippo & León-Ledesma, Miguel A., 2017. "The dynamics of hours worked and technology," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 67-82.
    4. Antonio M. Conti & Elisa Guglielminetti & Marianna Riggi, 2019. "Labour productivity and the wageless recovery," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1257, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Mitra, Aruni, 2021. "The Productivity Puzzle and the Decline of Unions," MPRA Paper 110961, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Zuzana Molnarova, 2020. "Industry evidence and the vanishing cyclicality of labor productivity," Vienna Economics Papers vie2001, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    7. Zuzana Molnarova, 2020. "Industry evidence and the vanishing cyclicality of labor productivity," Vienna Economics Papers 2001, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.

    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. Francesco Nucci & Marianna Riggi, 2011. "Performance pay and shifts in macroeconomic correlations," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 800, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Galí, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
    3. Carrillo, Julio A., 2012. "How well does sticky information explain the dynamics of inflation, output, and real wages?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 830-850.
    4. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Kurmann, André, 2010. "The business cycle implications of reciprocity in labor relations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 837-850, October.
    5. Ambler, Steve & Guay, Alain & Phaneuf, Louis, 2012. "Endogenous business cycle propagation and the persistence problem: The role of labor-market frictions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 47-62.
    6. Ghent, Andra C., 2009. "Comparing DSGE-VAR forecasting models: How big are the differences?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 864-882, April.
    7. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 445-462, August.
    8. Zheng Liu & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2009. "Sources of the Great Moderation: shocks, frictions, or monetary policy?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    9. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2011. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247, April.
    10. Julio Carrillo & Patrick Fève & Julien Matheron, 2007. "Monetary Policy Inertia or Persistent Shocks: A DSGE Analysis," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(2), pages 1-38, June.
    11. Andre Kurmann & Julien Champagne, 2010. "The Great Increase in Relative Volatility of Real Wages in the United States," 2010 Meeting Papers 674, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Régis Barnichon, 2007. "Productivity, Aggregate Demand and Unemployment Fluctuations," CEP Discussion Papers dp0819, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Andrei Polbin & Sergey Drobyshevsky, 2014. "Developing a Dynamic Stochastic Model of General Equilibrium for the Russian Economy," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 166P, pages 156-156.
    14. Rochelle M. Edge & Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2003. "The responses of wages and prices to technology shocks," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-65, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Justiniano, Alejandro & Primiceri, Giorgio E. & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2010. "Investment shocks and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 132-145, March.
    16. John G. Fernald & J. Christina Wang, 2016. "Why Has the Cyclicality of Productivity Changed? What Does It Mean?," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 465-496, October.
    17. Matheron, Julien & Poilly, Céline, 2009. "How well does a small structural model with sticky prices and wages fit postwar U.S. data?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 266-284, January.
    18. Avouyi-Dovi, S. & Matheron, J., 2005. "Technology Shocks and Monetary Policy in an Estimated Sticky Price Model of the US Economy," Working papers 123, Banque de France.
    19. Giuli, Francesco & Tancioni, Massimiliano, 2012. "Real rigidities, productivity improvements and investment dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 100-118.
    20. Hofmann, Boris & Peersman, Gert & Straub, Roland, 2012. "Time variation in U.S. wage dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 769-783.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Performance pay; Procyclical productivity; Wage rigidity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

    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:eee:dyncon:v:37:y:2013:i:12:p:2796-2813. 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: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc .

    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: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc .

    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.