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Wage Curve Analyses of Establishment Data from Western Germany

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  • Lutz Bellmann
  • Uwe Blien

Abstract

Using the IAB Establishment Panel, which is representative for western Germany, the authors find that establishment-level wages reacted to variations in the regional unemployment rate. The elasticity of wages with respect to unemployment, they estimate, was about −0.1. This responsiveness of the wage to regional variation is close to estimates found by other researchers (using individual rather than establishment data) for other countries, and contradicts the view that Germany's labor market, largely due to the nature of collective bargaining in that country, is relatively inflexible. Possible explanations for this finding are that the negotiated wage is treated like a minimum wage, with firms deviating from it in order to increase work effort; bargaining between firms and individual workers or between firms and works councils produces wage differences; or collective agreements do not restrict firms to the extent that is often assumed.

Suggested Citation

  • Lutz Bellmann & Uwe Blien, 2001. "Wage Curve Analyses of Establishment Data from Western Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 851-863, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:54:y:2001:i:4:p:851-863
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    Cited by:

    1. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Simone N. Tuor, 2010. "Avoiding Labor Shortages by Employer Signaling: On the Importance of Good Work Climate and Labor Relations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 271-286, January.
    2. Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2005. "The Last Word on the Wage Curve?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 421-450, July.
    3. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe & Wolf, Katja, 2009. "New evidence on the dynamic wage curve for Western Germany: 1980-2004," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 47-51, January.
    4. Johnes, Geraint, 2007. "The wage curve revisited: Estimates from a UK panel," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 414-420, March.
    5. repec:lan:wpaper:4815 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Buscher, Herbert S., 2003. "Gibt es eine Lohnkurve in den neuen Bundesländern? (Is there a wage curve in eastern German?)," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 36(4), pages 461-475.
    7. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:4:p:461-475 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:lan:wpaper:4511 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:lan:wpaper:4383 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Longhi, Simonetta & Nijkamp, Peter, 2006. "Forecasting regional labor market developments under spatial heterogeneity and spatial correlation," Serie Research Memoranda 0015, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    11. Hans-Friedrich Eckey & Reinhold Kosfeld & Alexander Werner, 2008. "Die Lohnkurve in Deutschland unter Berücksichtigung des regionalen Preisniveaus," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200810, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp, 2007. "Forecasting Regional Labor Market Developments under Spatial Autocorrelation," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 30(2), pages 100-119, April.

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