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The margins of labour cost adjustment: survey evidence from european firms

Author

Listed:
  • Jan Babecký

    (Czech National Bank)

  • Philip Du Caju

    (National Bank of Belgium)

  • Theodora Kosma

    () (Bank of Greece)

  • Martina Lawless

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

  • Julián Messina

    (World Bank and University of Girona)

  • Tairi Rõõm

    (Bank of Estonia)

Abstract

Firms have multiple options at the time of adjusting their wage bills. However, previous literature has mainly focused on base wages. We broaden the analysis beyond downward rigidity in base wages by investigating the use of other margins of labour cost adjustment at the firm level. Using data from a unique survey, we find that firms make frequent use of other, more flexible, components of compensation to adjust the cost of labour. Changes in bonuses and non-pay benefits are some of the potential margins firms use to reduce costs. We also show how the margins of adjustment chosen are affected by firm and worker characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:108
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
    2. 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.
    3. Holden Steinar & Wulfsberg Fredrik, 2008. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-50, April.
    4. Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde & Thomas Bauer, 2007. "Wage Rigidity: Measurement, Causes and Consequences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 499-507, November.
    5. Philip Du Caju & Erwan Gautier & Daphne Momferatu & Melanie Ward-Warmedinger, 2009. "Institutional Features of Wage Bargaining in 23 European Countries, the US and Japan," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 12(2), pages 57-108, Winter.
    6. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
    8. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2003. "Labour Demand in Germany: An Assessment of Non- Wage Labour Costs," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 154, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    9. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Angelini, E. & Dieppe, A. & Pierluigi, B., 2015. "Modelling internal devaluation experiences in Europe: Rational or learning agents?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 81-92.
    2. Theodoros Mitrakos & Panos Tsakloglou, 2010. "Analyzing and comparing the impact of alternative concepts of resources in distributional studies: Greece, 2004/5," Working Papers 111, Bank of Greece.
    3. Vasilis Droucopoulos & Panagiotis Chronis, 2010. "“Assessing market dominance”: a comment and an extension," Working Papers 109, Bank of Greece.
    4. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2013. "Why firms avoid cutting wages: Survey evidence from European firms," Working Paper Research 251, National Bank of Belgium.
    5. Alexandre, Fernando & Bação, Pedro & Cerejeira, João & Portela, Miguel, 2010. "Manufacturing Employment and Exchange Rates in the Portuguese Economy: The Role of Openness, Technology and Labour Market Rigidity," IZA Discussion Papers 5251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Gani Ramadani & Nikola Naumovski, 2014. "Wage and Price Setting in Macedonia: Evidence from Survey Data," Working Papers 2015-05, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia.
    7. Aurelijus Dabu�inskas & Tairi Room, 2011. "Survey evidence on wage and price setting in Estonia," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2011-06, Bank of Estonia, revised 27 May 2011.
    8. Dhyne, Emmanuel & Druant, Martine, 2010. "Wages, labor or prices: how do firms react to shocks?," Working Paper Series 1224, European Central Bank.
    9. Ana María Iregui B. & ligia Alba Melo Becerra & María Teresa Ramírez Giraldo, 2013. "RDownward Wage Rigidities and Other Firms Responses to an Economic Slowdown: Evidence from a Survey of Colombian Firms," Investigación Conjunta-Joint Research,in: Laura Inés D'Amato & Enrique López Enciso & María Teresa Ramírez Giraldo (ed.), Inflationary Dynamics, Persistence, and Prices and Wages Formation, edition 1, chapter 15, pages 403-449 Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
    10. Virbickas, Ernestas, 2010. "Wage and price setting behaviour of Lithuanian firms," Working Paper Series 1198, European Central Bank.
    11. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2015. "Why Firms Avoid Cutting Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(4), pages 862-888, August.
    12. Emmanuel Dhyne & Catherine Fuss & Claude Mathieu, 2015. "Labour Demand Adjustment: Does Foreign Ownership Matter?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(6), pages 854-871, December.
    13. Bergin, Adele & Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus, 2012. "Explaining Changes in Earnings and Labour Costs During the Recession," Papers EC9, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    14. Dias, Daniel A. & Marques, Carlos Robalo & Martins, Fernando, 2013. "Wage rigidity and employment adjustment at the firm level: Evidence from survey data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 40-49.
    15. 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.
    16. Laura Inés D'Amato & Enrique López Enciso & María Teresa Ramírez Giraldo (ed.), 2013. "Dinámica inflacionaria, persistencia y formación de precios y salarios," Investigación Conjunta-Joint Research, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA, edition 1, volume 1, number 2, June.
    17. International Monetary Fund, 2012. "Ireland; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 12/265, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Brian Micallef, 2016. "The Adjustment of Maltese Firms to the Post-crisis Economic Environment: Evidence from a Firm-level Survey," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(9), pages 122-133, September.
    19. repec:spr:izalpo:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40173-017-0087-z is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Frank Smets, 2010. "Commetary: modeling inflation after the crisis," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 221-234.
    21. Daniel Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques & Fernando Martins, 2012. "Labour cost-cutting strategies microeconomic evidence from survey data," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    22. Guido Bulligan & Eliana Viviano, 2017. "Has the wage Phillips curve changed in the euro area?," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, December.
    23. Russell, Helen & McGinnity, Fran & Kingston, Gillian, 2014. "Gender and the Quality of Work: From Boom to Recession," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT264.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour costs; wage rigidity; firm survey; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems

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