IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The effects of wage volatility on growth

  • Jetter, Michael
  • Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, Alex
  • Smith, William T.

This paper shows that the volatility of wages has significant effects on a country’s rate of economic growth. Our theoretical framework suggests two distinct channels in which wage volatility affects growth: a positive direct way and a negative indirect way. The direct effect stems from precautionary savings, whereas the indirect effect works through the mediating role of government size. In the empirical part, we use a 3SLS approach to analyze a panel of 20 high-income OECD countries and find strong evidence for the existence of both effects. These results carry general and specific implications. In general, ignoring indirect effects operating through government size may mask the real net effects of volatility on growth, which could result in misleading conclusions. Specific to wage volatility, our results suggest that the net effect on economic growth depends on both government size and the wage premium from working in the private sector. Within our sample, we find evidence for both – countries for which wage volatility is beneficial to growth and others for which it is detrimental.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0164070413000967
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 93-109

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:37:y:2013:i:c:p:93-109
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2013.05.010
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Breton, Theodore R., 2012. "Penn World Table 7.0: Are the data flawed?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 208-210.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  3. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990. "Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
  4. Cohen-Cole,E.B. & Durlauf,S.N. & Rondina,G., 2005. "Nonlinearities in growth : from evidence to policy," Working papers 9, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. Olivier J. Blanchard & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1988. "Consumption: Beyond Certainty Equivalence," NBER Working Papers 2496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Simon Johnson & William Larson & Chris Papageorgiou & Arvind Subramanian, 2009. "Is Newer Better? Penn World Table Revisions and Their Impact on Growth Estimates," NBER Working Papers 15455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stephen Turnovsky, 1998. "Fiscal Policy, Elastic Labor Supply, and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0068, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  8. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 7661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Özler, Sule & Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
  10. Stephen Turnovsky & Pradip Chattopadhyay, 1998. "Volatility and Growth in Developing Economies: Some Numerical Results and Empirical Evidence," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0055, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  11. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1992. "International Evidence of the Historical Properties of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 864-88, September.
  12. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  13. R. C. Merton, 1970. "Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model," Working papers 58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Daniel J. Henderson & Chris Papageorgiou & Christopher F. Parmeter, 2012. "Growth Empirics without Parameters," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 125-154, 03.
  15. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "Earnings Uncertainty and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 859-71, September.
  16. Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2007. "Are any Growth Theories Robust?," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 2-2007, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  17. Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," NBER Working Papers 7750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Sala-i-martin, X. & Barro, R.J., 1995. "technological Diffusion, Convergence and Growth," Papers 735, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  19. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
  20. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
  21. Steve Bond & Asli Leblebicioglu & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2004. "Capital Accumulation and Growth: A New Look at the Empirical Evidence," Economics Papers 2004-W08, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  22. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  23. Hongyi Li & Heng-fu Zou, 2002. "Inflation, Growth, and Income Distribution: A Cross-Country Study," CEMA Working Papers 85, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  24. Cameron A. Shelton, 2007. "The Size and Composition of Government Expenditure," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2007-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  25. Devereux, Michael B & Smith, Gregor W, 1994. "International Risk Sharing and Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(3), pages 535-50, August.
  26. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-51, December.
  27. Partha Chatterjee & Malik Shukayev, 2006. "Are Average Growth Rate and Volatility Related?," Staff Working Papers 06-24, Bank of Canada.
  28. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Smith, William T., 2002. "Consumption and saving with habit formation and durability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 369-375, May.
  30. Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
  31. Durlauf, Steven N. & Quah, Danny T., 1999. "The new empirics of economic growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 235-308 Elsevier.
  32. Philippe Weil, 1993. "Precautionary Savings and the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 367-383.
  33. William Smith, 1998. "Birth, Death, and Consumption: Overlapping Generations and the Random Walk Hypothesis," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 105-116.
  34. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  35. Henderson, Daniel J. & Papageorgiou, Chris & Parmeter, Christopher F., 2013. "Who benefits from financial development? New methods, new evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 47-67.
  36. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  37. Wälde, Klaus, 2011. "Production technologies in stochastic continuous time models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 616-622, April.
  38. Mark W. Watson, 2007. "How accurate are real-time estimates of output trends and gaps?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 143-161.
  39. Olaf Posch & Klaus Wälde, 2011. "On the link between volatility and growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 285-308, December.
  40. Shelton, Cameron A., 2007. "The size and composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2230-2260, December.
  41. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Openness, Country Size and Government," Scholarly Articles 4553014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  42. Stephen Turnovsky & William Smith, 2004. "Equilibrium Consumption and Precautionary Savings in a Stochastically Growing Economy," Working Papers UWEC-2006-01-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2004.
  43. Dawson, John W. & Stephenson, E. Frank, 1997. "The link between volatility and growth: Evidence from the States," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 365-369, September.
  44. Amable, Bruno, 2000. "International specialisation and growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 413-431, December.
  45. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:37:y:2013:i:c:p:93-109. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.