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Zur ökonomischen Rationalität von Lohnrigiditäten aus der Sicht von Unternehmen / The Rationale for Wage Rigidity: Employers' Viewpoint

  • Franz Wolfgang


  • Pfeiffer Friedhelm


    (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW), Postfach 103443, D-68034 Mannheim. Tel.: ++49/+6 21/12 35-1 00/1 01, Fax: ++49/+6 21/12 35-2 22)

This study provides evidence for the reasons of wage rigidity, among others collective wage agreements, efficiency wages, implicit contracts and the insider-outsider theory, based on a survey of 801 firms conducted in spring 2000. According to survey respondents the mechanisms creating wage rigidity differ between skill groups. In total strong support has been found for explanations based on collective wage agreements and on efficiency wages. Survey respondents indicated that collective wage agreements and implicit contracts are important reasons for wage rigidities for the (low) skilled. Specific human capital, turnover costs and negative signals for new hires are important reasons for the high skilled. Explanations based on mechanism to enhance labour productivity are significant for all skill groups to the same degree. Firms who are covered by collective wage agreements seldom make use of hardship clauses which have been introduced into collective wage agreements to enhance flexibility since the nineteenth. One reason seem to be efficiency wages which are responsible for wage rigidities in addition to collective wage agreements. Compared to findings from the USA, in Germany collective wage agreements, insider- outsider-mechanism and firm specific human capital seem to be more important explanations.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik).

Volume (Year): 223 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 23-57

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:223:y:2003:i:1:p:23-57
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