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Wage adjustment by Italian firms: any difference during the crisis? A survey-based analysis

  • Silvia Fabiani

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

  • Roberto Sabbatini

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

The study analyses wage adjustment by Italian firms on the basis of information collected through a coordinated survey carried out in 17 European countries in two waves (at the beginning of 2008 and in the summer of 2009). The pre-crisis evidence indicates that the degree of wage rigidity is relatively high in Italy: wages remain unchanged on average for about two years, against an average of just over one year in the other countries. Italian firms hardly cut nominal wages, reflecting not only institutional constraints, but also an attempt to avoid a negative impact on their productivity. During the economic recession the firms most severely affected by the fall in demand reduced their costs mainly by adjusting the input of labour (in terms of both employment and hours worked). A higher incidence of skilled and white-collar workers was accompanied by greater recourse to strategies aimed at containing non-labour costs, presumably in order to preserve the human capital accumulated.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/qef/2011-0094/QEF_94.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 94.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_94_11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it

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  1. Jan Babecky & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Room, 2009. "Downward nominal and real wage rigidity : Survey evidence from European firms," Working Paper Research 182, National Bank of Belgium.
  2. Du Caju, Ph. & Gautier, E. & Momferatou, D. & Ward-Warmedinger, M., 2008. "Institutional features of wage bargaining in 23 European countries, the US and Japan," Working papers 228, Banque de France.
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