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Performance pay and shifts in macroeconomic correlations

Author

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  • Francesco Nucci

    () (La Sapienza University of Rome)

  • Marianna Riggi

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

A coincidence in time between the volatility break associated with the "Great Moderation" and large changes in the pattern of conditional and unconditional correlations between output, hours and labor productivity was detected by Gal� and Gambetti (2009). We provide a novel explanation for these findings, based on the major changes that occurred in the U.S. design of labor compensation around the mid-1980s. These include a substantial increase in the incidence of performance pay coupled with a higher responsiveness of real wages to the business cycle. We capture this shift in the structure of labor compensation in a Dynamic New Keynesian (DNK) model and show that, by itself, it generates the disappearance of the procyclical response of labor productivity to non-technology shocks and a reduction of the contractionary effects of technology shocks on hours worked. Moreover, it accounts for a large share of the observed drop in output volatility after 1984 and for most of the observed changes in unconditional correlations.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Nucci & Marianna Riggi, 2011. "Performance pay and shifts in macroeconomic correlations," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 800, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_800_11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    2. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2013. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 887-899.
    3. Tommaso Ferraresi & Andrea Roventini & Willi Semmler, 2016. "Macroeconomic regimes, technological shocks and employment dynamics," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2016-19, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    4. Champagne, Julien & Kurmann, André, 2013. "The great increase in relative wage volatility in the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 166-183.
    5. Marianna Riggi, 2012. "Capital destruction, jobless recoveries, and the discipline device role of unemployment," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 871, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    procyclical productivity; wage rigidities; performance pay.;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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