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Downward Wage Rigidities and Other Firms’ Responses to an Economic Slowdown: Evidence from a Survey of Colombian Firms

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  • Ana María Iregui B.

    ()

  • Ligia Alba Melo B.

    ()

  • María Teresa Ramírez G.

    ()

Abstract

This paper uses a wage setting survey of 1,305 Colombian firms to explore the nature and sources of wage rigidities. This is the first study of a non-European emerging economy that uses evidence from a survey of firms to analyse this topic. The survey was carried out during the first half of 2009, when the Colombian economy was showing signs of a slowdown in economic activity and increasing unemployment. The sample is fully representative of the population under study. The results provide evidence of nominal and real downward wage rigidities in the country. The most important factor in not reducing base wages during an economic slowdown is to avoid the loss of more experienced and productive workers, which is related to the efficiency wage theory in its adverse selection version. In addition, ordered logit regressions were used to determine what factors are related to wage rigidities. The findings indicate that, in general, permanent contracts, workforce composition, labour intensity and the presence of collective agreements play an important role in explaining wage rigidities in the country.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana María Iregui B. & Ligia Alba Melo B. & María Teresa Ramírez G., 2010. "Downward Wage Rigidities and Other Firms’ Responses to an Economic Slowdown: Evidence from a Survey of Colombian Firms," Borradores de Economia 612, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:612
    DOI: 10.32468/be.612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2010. "Downward Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity: Survey Evidence from European Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 884-910, December.
    2. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2009. "The margins of labour cost adjustment: survey evidence from european firms," Working Papers 108, Bank of Greece.
    3. Ana María Iregui & Ligia Alba Melo & María Teresa Ramírez, 2009. "Formación e incrementos de salarios en Colombia: Un estudio microeconómico a partir de una encuesta a nivel de firma," Borradores de Economia 582, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    4. Ana María Iregui B. & Ligia Alba Melo B. & María Teresa Ramírez G., 2009. "Are wages rigid in Colombia?: Empirical evidence based on a sample of wages at the firm level," Borradores de Economia 571i, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arango-Thomas, Luis Eduardo & Obando, Nataly & Posada, Carlos Esteban, 2012. "Los salarios reales a lo largo del ciclo económico en Colombia," Chapters, in: Arango-Thomas, Luis Eduardo & Hamann-Salcedo, Franz Alonso (ed.), El mercado de trabajo en Colombia : hechos, tendencias e instituciones, chapter 13, pages 545-585, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Ana María Iregui & Ligia Alba Melo & María Teresa Ramírez, 2014. "Wage‐setting Decisions on Newly Hired Employees: Survey Evidence from Colombian Firms," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(3), pages 231-246, April.
    3. M. Ali Choudhary & Saima Mahmood & Sajawal Khan & Waqas Ahmed & Gylfi Zoega, 2013. "Sticky Wages in a Developing Country: Lessons from Structured Interviews in Pakistan," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0213, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    4. Gustavo Adolfo HERNANDEZ DIAZ, 2011. "Impuestos parafiscales y mercado laboral: Un análisis de Equilibrio General Computable," Archivos de Economía 008954, Departamento Nacional de Planeación.
    5. Echavarría-Soto, Juan José & López, Enrique & Ocampo, Sergio & Rodríguez-Niño, Norberto, 2012. "Choques, instituciones laborales y desempleo en Colombia," Chapters, in: Arango-Thomas, Luis Eduardo & Hamann-Salcedo, Franz Alonso (ed.), El mercado de trabajo en Colombia : hechos, tendencias e instituciones, chapter 18, pages 753-794, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    6. Ana Iregui & Ligia Melo & María Ramírez, 2012. "Wage Adjustment Practices and the Link between Price and Wages: Survey Evidence from Colombian Firms," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 76, pages 17-53.
    7. Taborda, Rodrigo & Guataqui, Juan Carlos, 2011. "Manufacturing Employment and Wage Differentials After Structural Adjustment Reforms in Colombia: An Efficiency Wages Approach," Revista Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia - CIE, June.
    8. Ana María iregui & Ligia Alba Melo B. & María Teresa Ramírez G., 2010. "Wage-setting Decisions on Newly Hired Employees:," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 007808, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    9. Gustavo Hernández, 2012. "Payroll Taxes and the Labor Market: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 49(1), pages 99-123, May.
    10. Ana María Iregui & Ligia Alba Melo & María Teresa Ramírez, 2010. "Incrementos y rigideces de los salarios en Colombia: Un estudio a partir de una encuesta," Revista de Economía del Rosario, Universidad del Rosario, November.
    11. Juan Carlos Segura Ortiz, 2016. "Sobre el uso de curvas de salarios en modelos empíricos de equilibrio económico. Reseña e introducción computacional," Revista Equidad y Desarrollo, Universidad de la Salle, issue 26, pages 172-189, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage rigidities; survey evidence; efficiency wages; Colombia; labour market; ordered logit.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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