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Downward wage rigidity and automatic wage indexation: evidence from monthly micro wage data

  • Lünnemann, Patrick
  • Wintr, Ladislav

This paper assesses the degree of downward wage rigidity in Luxembourg using an administrative monthly data set on individual wages covering the entire economy over the period from January 2001 to January 2007. After limiting for measurement error, which would otherwise bias downwards the estimates of wage rigidity, we conclude that nearly all workers in Luxembourg are potentially subject to downward real wage rigidity. Our results are robust to different procedures to adjust for measurement error and methods for estimation of downward wage rigidity. We report relatively small differences in the frequency of nominal wage cuts across occupational groups and sectors. In addition, the observed rigidity does not seem to be driven predominantly by the absence of negative shocks. We show that the real wage rigidity is related to the automatic wage indexation, while additional factors might be necessary to explain the high degree of downward wage rigidity. JEL Classification: J31

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1269.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101269
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  11. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Götte, 2000. "Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity," CESifo Working Paper Series 335, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2007. "Downward wage rigidity for different workers and firms : an evaluation for Belgium using the IWFP procedure," Working Paper Research 124, National Bank of Belgium.
  13. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
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  17. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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  25. Du Caju, Philip & Fuss, Catherine & Wintr, Ladislav, 2009. "Understanding sectoral differences in downward real wage rigidity: workforce composition, institutions, technology and competition," Working Paper Series 1006, European Central Bank.
  26. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie Ward, 2006. "The interaction of labor markets and inflation: analysis of micro data from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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