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

Wages, implicit contracts, and the business cycle: Evidence from a European panel

Listed author(s):
  • Bellou, Andriana
  • Kaymak, Barış

We study the joint behavior of hours and wages over the business cycle in a unique panel of 13 European countries, and document significant history dependence in wages. Workers who experience favorable market conditions during their tenure on the job have higher wages, and work fewer labor hours. Unobserved differences in productivity, such as varying job quality, or match-specific productivity are not likely to explain this variation. The results instead point to the importance of contractual arrangements in wage determination. In economies with decentralized bargaining practices, such arrangements resemble self-enforcing insurance contracts with one-sided commitment (by the employer). On the other hand, in countries with strong unions and centralized wage bargaining, wage behavior is better approximated by full-commitment insurance contracts. The co-movement of hours and wages further confirms a contractual framework with variable worker hours. Despite the strong prevalence of contracts in Europe, however, the elasticity of labor supply is considerably smaller compared to the U.S. labor market.

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/S0927537112000802
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 Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 898-907

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:6:p:898-907
DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.08.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  2. Richard Blundell & Ian Walker, 1986. "A Life-Cycle Consistent Empirical Model of Family Labour Supply Using Cross-Section Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 539-558.
  3. Milton Harris & Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 315-333.
  4. Bellou, Andriana & Kaymak, Baris, 2011. "Real wage growth over the business cycle:contractual versus spot markets," MPRA Paper 30401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Seltzer, Andrew & Merrett, David T, 2000. "Personnel Policies at the Union Bank of Australia: Evidence from the 1888-1900 Entry Cohorts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 573-613, October.
  6. Christopher Pissarides, 2007. "The unemployment volatility puzzle: is wage stickiness the answer?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4460, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1987. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Long-term Employment Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 50-68, March.
  8. Lars Vilhuber, 1996. "Wage Flexibility and Contract Structure in Germany," CIRANO Working Papers 96s-28, CIRANO.
  9. Gertler, Mark & Trigari, Antonella, 2006. "Unemployment fluctuation with staggered Nash wage bargaining," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  10. Blundell, Richard & Meghir, Costas & Symons, Elizabeth & Walker, Ian, 1988. "Labour supply specification and the evaluation of tax reforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 23-52, June.
  11. van Soest, A.H.O. & Woittiez, I.B. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1989. "Labour supply, income taxes and hours restrictions in the Netherlands," Discussion Paper 1989-3, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. David A. Green & James Townsend, 2009. "Understanding the wage patterns of Canadian less skilled workers: the role of implicit contracts," IFS Working Papers W09/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
  14. Darren Grant, 2003. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Surveys," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 393-408, April.
  15. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  16. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2007. "The Spot Market Matters: Evidence On Implicit Contracts From Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 661-683, November.
  17. 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.
  18. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  19. Hogan, Chad, 2001. "Enforcement of Implicit Employment Contracts through Unionization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 171-195, January.
  20. Bowlus, Audra J, 1995. "Matching Workers and Jobs: Cyclical Fluctuations in Match Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 335-350, April.
  21. McDonald, J.T. & Worswick, C., 1997. "Wages, Implicit Contracts and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Canadian Micro Data," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 588, The University of Melbourne.
  22. Marianna Kudlyak, 2010. "The cyclical price of labor when wages are smoothed," Working Paper 10-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  23. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1988. "Self-Enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 541-554.
  24. Martin Neil Baily, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50.
  25. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
  26. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. 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.
  28. Arthur M. Okun, 1973. "Upward Mobility in a High-Pressure Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 207-262.
  29. Paul Beaudry & John DiNardo, 1995. "Is the Behavior of Hours Worked Consistent with Implicit Contract Theory?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 743-768.
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:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:6:p:898-907. 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: (Dana Niculescu)

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.