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Wages and prices in Italy during the crisis: the firms� perspective


  • Francesco D�Amuri

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Silvia Fabiani

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Roberto Sabbatini

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Raffaele Tartaglia Polcini

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Fabrizio Venditti

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Eliana Viviano

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Roberta Zizza

    () (Bank of Italy)


Following the two surveys carried out in 2007 and 2009 on firms� price and wage setting practices, in June 2013 the ESCB�s Wage Dynamics Network (WDN) conducted a third survey aimed at assessing, through a harmonised questionnaire, the most important transformations under way in the national labour markets. This paper documents the results of the survey carried out in Italy. The sovereign debt crisis severely hit the Italian economy, causing a collapse in demand, increased uncertainty and difficulties in accessing external finance. Firms responded by decreasing labour input (adjusting both the intensive and the extensive margins) more often than wages. However, wage-setting practices were also affected by the new economic landscape: the percentage of workers employed in firms enacting wage freezes or cuts has steadily increased since 2010, reaching 17% of the total workforce in the sectors considered in 2013. Furthermore, a large share of companies have adapted their pricing strategy to the new economic environment; the frequency of price adjustments has increased, mainly as a reaction to stronger competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco D�Amuri & Silvia Fabiani & Roberto Sabbatini & Raffaele Tartaglia Polcini & Fabrizio Venditti & Eliana Viviano & Roberta Zizza, 2015. "Wages and prices in Italy during the crisis: the firms� perspective," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 289, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_289_15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. D'Amuri, Francesco & Giorgiantonio, Cristina, 2015. "The Institutional and Economic Limits to Bargaining Decentralization in Italy," IZA Policy Papers 98, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Andrea Brandolini & Piero Casadio & Piero Cipollone & Marco Magnani & Alfonso Rosolia, 2007. "Employment Growth in Italy in the 1990s: Institutional Arrangements and Market Forces," AIEL Series in Labour Economics,in: Nicola Acocella & Riccardo Leoni (ed.), Social Pacts, Employment and Growth. A Reappraisal of Ezio Tarantelli’s Thought, edition 1, chapter 4, pages 31-68 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
    3. Marianna Riggi & Fabrizio Venditti, 2014. "Surprise! Euro area inflation has fallen," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 237, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Antonio Bassanetti & Matteo Bugamelli & Sandro Momigliano & Roberto Sabbatini & Francesco Zollino, 2014. "The policy response to macroeconomic and fiscal imbalances in Italy in the last fifteen years," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 67(268), pages 55-103.
    5. Fabiani, Silvia & Gattulli, Angela & Sabbatini, Roberto, 2004. "The pricing behaviour of Italian firms: new survey evidence on price stickiness," Working Paper Series 333, European Central Bank.
    6. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2008," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 64 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simone Lenzu & Francesco Manaresi, 2019. "Sources and implications of resource misallocation: new evidence from firm-level marginal products and user costs," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 485, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item


    labour cost adjustment; pricing strategies;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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