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Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Microdata

  • Bauer, Thomas
  • Bonin, Holger
  • Sunde, Uwe

The Paper examines real and nominal wage rigidities. We estimate a switching regime model, in which the observed distribution of individual wage changes, computed from West German register data for 1976-97, is generated by simultaneous processes of real, nominal or no wage rigidity, and measurement error. The fraction of workers facing wage increases that are due to nominal, but mostly real, wage rigidity is substantial. The extent of real rigidity rises with inflation, whereas the opposite holds for nominal rigidity. Overall, the incidence of wage rigidity, which accelerates unemployment growth, is most likely minimized in an environment with moderate inflation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4271.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4271
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  1. Louis Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2001. "Nominal Wage Rigidity: Non-Parametric Tests Based on Union Data for Canada," CESifo Working Paper Series 535, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999. "The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1996. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Working Papers 5538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
  8. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-37, September.
  9. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  10. Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-72, June.
  11. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20131, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
  13. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Franz, Wolfgang, 1999. "Industry-level wage bargaining : a partial rehabilitation ; the German experience," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-33, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
  15. Smith, Jennifer C, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C176-95, March.
  16. Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
  17. Holden, Steinar, 1994. "Wage bargaining and nominal rigidities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1021-1039, May.
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