IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_751.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_751
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/751.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
    3. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    4. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2012. "Personnel Economics," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    5. Layard, R. & Nickell, S., 1991. "Unemployment in the OECD Countries," Economics Series Working Papers 99130, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Agell, Jonas, 1999. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 143-164, February.
    7. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    8. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-735, May.
    9. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203.
    10. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, December.
    11. Eldar Shafir & Peter Diamond & Amos Tversky, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-374.
    12. Steinar Holden, 1998. "Wage Drift and the Relevance of Centralised Wage Setting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(4), pages 711-731, December.
    13. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    14. Kugler, Adriana & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "Hiring and Firing Costs, Adverse Selection and Long-term Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 134, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Albert Ma, Ching-to & Weiss, Andrew M., 1993. "A signaling theory of unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 135-157, January.
    16. Eriksson, Stefan & Gottfries, Nils, 2005. "Ranking of job applicants, on-the-job search, and persistent unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 407-428, June.
    17. Nilsson, C., 1992. "The Swedish Model: Labour Market Institutions and Contracts," Papers 1992-4, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    18. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
    19. Carl M. Campbell III & Kunal S. Kamlani, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-789.
    20. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
    21. Smith, Jennifer C, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 176-195, March.
    22. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    23. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    24. Agell, Susanne Ackum, 1994. "Swedish evidence on the efficiency wage hypothesis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 129-150, March.
    25. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
    26. Assar Lindbeck, 1997. "The Swedish Experiment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1273-1319, September.
    27. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2000. "Reciprocity and wage undercutting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1069-1078, May.
    28. Bewley, Truman F., 1998. "Why not cut pay?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 459-490, May.
    29. Ernst Fehr & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2001. "Does Money Illusion Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1239-1262, December.
    30. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 2001. "Insiders versus Outsiders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, Winter.
    31. Steinar Holden, 2001. "Does Price Stability Exacerbate Labour Market Rigidities in the EMU?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 403-418, December.
    32. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2002. "Discrimination by Gender and Social Distance," Research Papers in Economics 2002:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    33. Mahmood Arai, 2003. "Wages, Profits, and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 593-618, July.
    34. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    35. David E. Lebow & Raven E. Saks & Beth Anne Wilson, 1999. "Downward nominal wage rigidity: evidence from the employment cost index," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    36. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    37. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
    38. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1994. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 417-434.
    39. Nickell, S., 1991. "Wages, Unemployment and Population Change," Economics Series Working Papers 99122, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    40. Levine, David I, 1993. "Fairness, Markets, and Ability to Pay: Evidence from Compensation Executives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1241-1259, December.
    41. Simon G�chter & Ernst Fehr, "undated". "Fairness in the Labour Market � A Survey of Experimental Results," IEW - Working Papers 114, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    42. Forslund, Anders & Kolm, Ann-Sofie, 2000. "Active labour market policies and real-wage determination - Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series 2000:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    43. Holden, Steinar, 1998. " Wage Drift and the Relevance of Centralised Wage Setting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(4), pages 711-731, December.
    44. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214, Elsevier.
    45. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-955.
    46. Albaek, Karsten & Arai, Mahmood & Asplund, Rita & Barth, Erling & Strojer Madsen, Erik, 1998. "Measuring wage effects of plant size," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 425-448, December.
    47. Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Relative Wages, Efficiency Wages, and Keynesian Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 383-388, May.
    48. Christopher Hanes, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity and Industry Characteristics in the Downturns of 1893, 1929, and 1981," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1432-1446, December.
    49. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 112-142, February.
    50. Alan S. Blinder & Don H. Choi, 1990. "A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1003-1015.
    51. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    52. Thomas Beissinger & Christoph Knoppik, 2001. "Downward Nominal Rigidity in West German Earnings, 1975–95," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(4), pages 385-417, November.
    53. Rebitzer, James B & Robinson, Michael D, 1991. "Employer Size and Dual Labor Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 710-715, November.
    54. Holden, Steinar, 1994. "Wage bargaining and nominal rigidities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1021-1039, May.
    55. Peter Howitt, 2002. "Looking Inside the Labor Market: A Review Article," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 125-138, March.
    56. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
    57. Pierre Fortin, 1996. "The Great Canadian Slump," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 761-787, November.
    58. Worswick,G. D. N., 1991. "Unemployment: A Problem of Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521400343, December.
    59. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
    60. Louis Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2001. "Nominal Wage Rigidity: Non-Parametric Tests Based on Union Data for Canada," CESifo Working Paper Series 535, CESifo.
    61. Arai, Mahmood & Heyman, Fredrik, 2001. "Wages, Profits and Individual Unemployment Risk : Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Working Paper Series 172, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    62. Steinar Holden, 2002. "The Costs of Price Stability - Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," NBER Working Papers 8865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    63. Drago, Robert & Heywood, John S, 1992. "Is Worker Behaviour Consistent with Efficiency Wages?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 39(2), pages 141-153, May.
    64. Holmlund, Bertil & Zetterberg, Johnny, 1991. "Insider effects in wage determination : Evidence from five countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1009-1034, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jonas Agell & Helge Bennmarker, 2003. "Endogenous Wage Rigidity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1081, CESifo.
    2. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2291-2372 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1999. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity: Sweden in the 1990s," Working Paper Series 154, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    6. Jonas Agell & Per Lundborg, 2003. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity and Unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 15-30, March.
    7. Truman F. Bewley, 2002. "Fairness, Reciprocity, and Wage Rigidity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1383, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Peter Howitt, 2002. "Looking Inside the Labor Market: A Review Article," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 125-138, March.
    9. Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Wage formation under low inflation," Memorandum 09/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Barno Blaes, 2008. "Ausmaß und reale Konsequenzen nach unten starrer Nominallöhne," Working Papers 048, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    11. Jean‐Pierre Danthine & André Kurmann, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Reciprocity in Labor Relations," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(4), pages 857-881, December.
    12. 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.
    13. Boris Hirsch & Thomas Zwick, 2015. "How Selective Are Real Wage Cuts? A Micro-analysis Using Linked Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(4), pages 327-347, December.
    14. Daniel J. Benjamin, 2015. "A Theory of Fairness in Labour Markets," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 182-225, June.
    15. Smith, Jennifer C., 2002. "Pay Cuts And Morale : A Test Of Downward Nominal Rigidity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 649, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    16. Elsby, Michael W.L., 2009. "Evaluating the economic significance of downward nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 154-169, March.
    17. 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, September.
    18. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Working Paper 2004/5, Norges Bank.
    19. Jonas Agell, 2003. "Why are Small Firms Different? Managers’ Views," CESifo Working Paper Series 1076, CESifo.
    20. 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, Enero-mar.
    21. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_751. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.