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Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe (new title: The costs of price stability - downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe)

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  • Steinar Holden
  • Fredrik Wulfsberg

Abstract

This paper explores the existence of downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) in the industry sectors of 14 European countries, over the period 1973–1999, using a data set of hourly nominal wages at industry level. Based on a novel nonparametric statistical method, which allows for country and year-specific variation in both the median and the dispersion of industry wage changes, we reject the hypothesis of no DNWR. The fraction of wage cuts prevented due to DNWR has fallen over time, from 70 percent in the 1970s to 20 percent in the 1990s, but the number of industries affected by DNWR has increased. Wage cuts are less likely in countries and years with high inflation, low unemployment, high union density and strict employment protection legislation.

Suggested Citation

  • Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe (new title: The costs of price stability - downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe)," CESifo Working Paper Series 1177, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1177
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    Cited by:

    1. Victoria V. Dobrynskaya, 2008. "The Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy of the Central Bank of Russia under Asymmetrical Price Rigidity," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 29-62.
    2. Brzoza-Brzezina, Michal & Socha, Jacek, 2006. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Poland," MPRA Paper 843, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2006.
    3. Juli?n Messina & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2014. "Wage Rigidity and Disinflation in Emerging Countries," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 102-133, January.
    4. Christoph Knoppik & Thomas Beissinger, 2009. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe: an analysis of European micro data from the ECHP 1994–2001," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 321-338, May.
    5. Pierpaolo Benigno & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2011. "The Inflation-Output Trade-Off with Downward Wage Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1436-1466, June.
    6. Linzert, Tobias, 2005. "The Unemployment Inflation Trade-Off in the Euro Area," IZA Discussion Papers 1699, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Romain Duval & Lukas Vogel, 2008. "Economic resilience to shocks: The role of structural policies," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2008(1), pages 1-38.
    8. Steinar Holden, 2005. "Wage Formation under Low Inflation," Springer Books, in: Hannu Piekkola & Kenneth Snellman (ed.), Collective Bargaining and Wage Formation, pages 39-57, Springer.
    9. Orietta DESSY, 2005. "Nominal wage rigidity in Europe: estimates and institutional causes," Departmental Working Papers 2005-09, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.

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    Keywords

    downward nominal wage rigidity; European countries; employment protection legislation;
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