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Real Wages over the Business Cycle

Author

Listed:
  • Edward N. Gamber

    (Congressional Budget Office)

  • Frederick L. Joutz

    (George Washington University)

Abstract

The real wage is acyclical. This fact is inconsistent with standard theories which assume a single shock drives the cycle and predict either a strong pro or countercyclical real wage. This paper tests the hypothesis that the real wage is acyclical because there are several shocks, some with opposing effects on the real wage, driving the business cycle. We find evidence in support of this hypothesis. In particular, we find real wages are procyclical in response to labor demand shocks and countercyclical in response to labor supply, aggregate demand and oil price shocks with the strongest countercyclical movements arising from aggregate demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward N. Gamber & Frederick L. Joutz, 1997. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 277-291, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:23:y:1997:i:3:p:277-291
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume23/V23N3P277_291.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas J. Carter, 2005. "Monetary Policy, Efficiency Wages, and Nominal Wage Rigidities," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 349-359, Summer.
    2. Martin Schmidt, 2003. "The relative adjustment of wages and prices: direct tests within a multiple-equation system," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(8), pages 985-997.
    3. 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.
    4. Jean-Pierre Danthine & André Kurmann, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Reciprocity in Labor Relations," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(4), pages 857-881, March.
    5. Bisio Laura & Faccini Andrea, 2010. "Does cointegration matter? An analysis in a RBC perspective," wp.comunite 0066, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    6. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & André KURMANN, 2004. "Efficiency Wages Revisited: The Internal Reference Perspective (new version)," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 04.09, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, revised Jun 2005.
    7. Carter, Thomas J., 2005. "Money and efficiency wages: the neglected effect of employment on efficiency," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 199-209, March.
    8. Charles A. Fleischman, 1999. "The causes of business cycles and the cyclicality of real wages," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2012. "Intertwined real and monetary stochastic business cycles," MPRA Paper 42793, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business Cycles; Countercyclical; Cycle; Procyclical; Wage;

    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

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