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The determination of wages of newly hired employees: survey evidence on internal versus external factors

  • Kamil Galuščắk

    (Czech National Bank)

  • Mary Keeney

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

  • Daphne Nicolitsas

    (Bank of Greece)

  • Frank Smets

    (European Central Bank)

  • Pawel Strzelecki

    (National Bank of Poland)

  • Matija Vodopivec

    (Bank of Slovenia)

This paper uses information from a rich firm-level survey on wage and price-setting procedures, in around 15,000 firms in 15 European Union countries, to investigate the relative importance of internal versus external factors in the setting of wages of newly hired workers. The evidence suggests that external labour market conditions are less important than internal pay structures in determining hiring pay, with internal pay structures binding even more often when there is labour market slack. When explaining their choice firms allude to fairness considerations and the need to prevent a potential negative impact on effort. Cross-country differences, that do exist, are found to depend on institutional factors (bargaining structures); countries in which collective agreements are more prevalent and collective agreement coverage is higher report to a greater extent internal pay structures as the main determinant of hiring pay. Within-country differences are found to depend on firm and workforce characteristics; strong association between the use of external factors in hiring pay, on the one hand, and skills (positive) and tenure (negative) on the other.

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Paper provided by Bank of Greece in its series Working Papers with number 129.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:129
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