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Wage Policy and Endogenous Wage Rigidity: A Representative View From the Inside

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  • Jonas Agell
  • Helge Bennmarker

Abstract

We report the results from a representative survey of human resource managers in 885 Swedish firms. We estimate that during the severe recession of the 1990s, only 1.1 percent of workers took a cut in regular nominal pay. We trace the lack of wage moderation to a combination of exogenous (primarily labor law and collective bargaining contracts) and endogenous factors. Our analysis suggests that (i) endogenous wage rigidity plays an important role in most segments of the labor market, (ii) sources of endogenous wage rigidity differ significantly between the high- and low-end of the labor market, and between large and small firms, and (iii) mechanisms of wage rigidity tend to complement each other. Some of our questions deal with issues in the economics of personnel. We report evidence that job protection tends to reinforce the stigma from long-term unemployment, and that labor market training tends to reduce the same stigma. We show that managers in small organizations have a more negative attitude towards incentive schemes based on relative rewards, and we report evidence suggesting that gender have an impact on attitudes concerning effort and motivation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonas Agell & Helge Bennmarker, 2002. "Wage Policy and Endogenous Wage Rigidity: A Representative View From the Inside," CESifo Working Paper Series 751, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_751
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Elena Tougareva, "undated". "Do High Stakes and Competition Undermine Fairness? Evidence from Russia," IEW - Working Papers 120, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    4. Erol Taymaz & Sule Ozler, 2004. "Labor Market Policies and EU Accession: Problems and Prospects for Turkey," ERC Working Papers 0405, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Mar 2004.
    5. Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Wage formation under low inflation," Memorandum 09/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    6. Stefan Eriksson, 2006. "Skill Loss, Ranking of Job Applicants and the Dynamics of Unemployment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 265-296, August.
    7. Vesna Stavrevska, 2011. "The efficiency wages perspective to wage rigidity in the open economy: a survey," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 273-299, June.
    8. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Memorandum 08/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    9. Thomas Beissinger & Chritoph Knoppik, 2005. "Sind Nominallöhne starr? Neuere Evidenz und wirtschaftspolitische Implikationen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 171-188, May.
    10. Jonas Agell, 2004. "Why are Small Firms Different? Managers' Views," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 437-452, October.
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    12. Frank Scharr, 2005. "Tarifbindung, Rententeilung und Konzessionsverträge als Einflussgrößen der Lohnhöhe in Unternehmen : eine Untersuchung mit Mikrodaten für thüringische Firmen," ifo Dresden Studien, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 39, October.
    13. Jonas Agell & Helge Bennmarker, 2003. "Endogenous Wage Rigidity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1081, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Per-Anders Edin & Magnus Gustavsson, 2008. "Time Out of Work and Skill Depreciation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 163-180, January.
    15. Stefan Eriksson & Jonas Lagerström, 2006. "Competition between Employed and Unemployed Job Applicants: Swedish Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(3), pages 373-396, October.
    16. Ernst Fehr & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Individual Irrationality and Aggregate Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 43-66, Fall.
    17. Wolfgang Franz & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2006. "Reasons for Wage Rigidity in Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(2), pages 255-284, June.
    18. Agell, Jonas & Bennmarker, Helge, 2007. "Wage incentives and wage rigidity: A representative view from within," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 347-369, June.
    19. Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2004. "Scarring effects of the first labour market experience: A sibling based analysis," Working Paper Series 2004:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    20. Böckerman, Petri & Laaksonen, Seppo & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2006. "Micro-level evidence on wage rigidities in Finland," MPRA Paper 1811, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. M. Druant & Ph. Du Caju & Ph. Delhez, 2008. "Results of the Bank’s survey of wage-setting in Belgian firms," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 49-73, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage rigidity; survey evidence; effort models; motivation; labor law; long-term unemployment; gender and pay.;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • 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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