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Asymmetries and Rigidities in Wage Adjustments by Firms

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  • Holzer, Harry J
  • Montgomery, Edward B

Abstract

The authors use micro data from a survey of firms to test for labor-market rigidities and asymmetries in response to demand shifts. They analyze wage and employment adjustments to positive and negative shifts as measured by real sales growth. The results show that wage adjustments are fairly small compared with employment adjustments. They are also asymmetric, with significant adjustments in response to positive shifts but not negative shifts. These asymmetries are no more pronounced in large firms, manufacturing, heavily-union, or highly-skilled industries than in other firms or industries. In contrast, employment adjustments show no consistent pattern of asymmetry. Copyright 1993 by MIT Press.

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  • Holzer, Harry J & Montgomery, Edward B, 1993. "Asymmetries and Rigidities in Wage Adjustments by Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 397-408, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:75:y:1993:i:3:p:397-408
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    Cited by:

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    2. Chung-cheng Lin & C.C. Yang, 2006. "Receiprocity and Downward Wage Rigidity," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 06-A015, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    3. Anabela Carneiro & Pedro Portugal, 2008. "Market power, dismissal threat, and rent sharing: The role of insider and outsider forces in wage bargaining," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 30-47, March.
    4. Jörn‐Steffen Pischke, 2018. "Wage Flexibility and Employment Fluctuations: Evidence from the Housing Sector," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 85(339), pages 407-427, July.
    5. Simon Franklin & Julien Labonne, 2019. "Economic Shocks and Labor Market Flexibility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(1), pages 171-199.
    6. Arestis, Philip & Mariscal, Iris Biefang-Frisancho, 1998. "Capital shortages and asymmetries in UK unemployment," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 189-204, June.
    7. Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1996. "Macro- and microeconomic consequences of wage rigidity," Working Papers (Old Series) 9607, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    8. Blanchflower, David G, 1991. "Fear, Unemployment and Pay Flexibility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 483-496, May.
    9. Miguel Portela & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2005. "The provision of wage insurance by the firm: evidence from a longitudinal matched employer-employee dataset," NIPE Working Papers 17/2005, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    10. Ana Rute Cardoso & Miguel Portela, 2009. "Micro Foundations for Wage Flexibility: Wage Insurance at the Firm Level," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 29-50, March.
    11. Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1994. "The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?," Working Papers (Old Series) 9418, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    12. Antonia López-Villavicencio & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "Nonlinearity of the inflation-output trade-off and time-varying price rigidity," Working Papers 2013-02, CEPII research center.
    13. Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 1997. "Nash bargaining with downward rigid wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 213-218, December.
    14. Supreet Kaur, 2014. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in Village Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 20770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Chung-cheng Lin & C.C. Yang, 2006. "The Firm as a Community Explaining Asymmetric Behavior and Downward Rigidity of Wages," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 06-A014, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    16. Dobrynskaya, V.V., 2008. "Asymmetric price rigidity and the optimal interest rate defense of the exchange rate: Some evidence for the US," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 713-724.
    17. Santoro, Emiliano & Petrella, Ivan & Pfajfar, Damjan & Gaffeo, Edoardo, 2014. "Loss aversion and the asymmetric transmission of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 19-36.
    18. Camera, Gabriele & Kim, Jaehong, 2018. "Equilibrium wage rigidity in directed search," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 68-78.
    19. Lin, Chung-cheng & Yang, C.C., 2008. "The firm as a community explaining asymmetric behavior and downward rigidity of wages," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 390-400, November.
    20. Greenwood, Michael J. & Hunt, Gary L. & Kohli, Ulrich, 1997. "The factor-market consequences of unskilled immigration to the United States," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-28, March.
    21. Lucia Foster, 1999. "Employment Adjustment Costs and Establishment Characteristics," Working Papers 99-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    22. Lin, Chung-Cheng & Yang, C.C., 2010. "Reciprocity and downward wage rigidity," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1155-1168, December.

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