IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/eea/boewps/wp2009-03.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Downward nominal and real wage rigidity :survey evidence from European firms

Author

Listed:
  • Jan Babecky

    ()

  • Philip Du Caju

    ()

  • Theodora Kosma

    ()

  • Martina Lawless

    ()

  • Julian Messina

    ()

  • Tairi Room

    ()

Abstract

Firms have multiple options at the time of adjusting their wage bills. However, previous literature has mainly focused on base wages. We broaden the analysis beyond downward rigidity in base wages by investigating the use of other margins of labour cost adjustment at the firm level. Using data from a unique survey, we find that firms make frequent use of other, more flexible, components of compensation to adjust the cost of labour. Changes in bonuses and non-pay benefits are some of the potential margins firms use to reduce costs. We also show how the margins of adjustment chosen are affected by firm and worker characteristics

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Babecky & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Room, 2009. "Downward nominal and real wage rigidity :survey evidence from European firms," Bank of Estonia Working Papers 2009-3, Bank of Estonia, revised 06 Dec 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:eea:boewps:wp2009-03
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.eestipank.info/pub/en/dokumendid/publikatsioonid/seeriad/uuringud/_2009/_4_2009/_wp_409.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2010. "Downward Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity: Survey Evidence from European Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 884-910, December.
    3. Radowski, Daniel & Bonin, Holger, 2010. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in services: Direct evidence from a firm survey," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 227-229, March.
    4. Small, Kenneth A & Hsiao, Cheng, 1985. "Multinomial Logit Specification Tests," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(3), pages 619-627, October.
    5. Yu‐Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2005. "Non‐Wage Labour Costs, Policy Uncertainty And Labour Demand – A Theoretical Assessment," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(5), pages 687-709, November.
    6. Ehrmann, Michael & Smets, Frank & Altissimo, Filippo, 2006. "Inflation persistence and price-setting behaviour in the euro area: a summary of the IPN evidence," Occasional Paper Series 46, European Central Bank.
    7. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
    8. 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.
    9. J. Shister, 1943. "The Theory of Union Wage Rigidity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 522-542.
    10. Filippo Altissimo & Michael Ehrmann & Frank Smets, 2006. "Inflation persistence and price-setting behaviour in the euro area – a summary of the IPN evidence," Occasional Paper Series 46, European Central Bank.
    11. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
    12. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
    13. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
    15. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1974. "Alternative Theories of Wage Determination and Unemployment in LDC's: The Labor Turnover Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(2), pages 194-227.
    16. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
    17. Masanori Hashimoto & Ben T. Yu, 1980. "Specific Capital, Employmemt Contracts, and Wage Rigidity," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 536-549, Autumn.
    18. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, April.
    22. Carlsson, Mikael & Westermark, Andreas, 2007. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," Working Paper Series 206, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    23. Stephan Fahr & Frank Smets, 2010. "Downward Wage Rigidities and Optimal Monetary Policy in a Monetary Union," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 812-840, December.
    24. Oswald, Andrew J, 1986. "Unemployment Insurance and Labor Contracts under Asymmetric Information: Theory and Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 365-377, June.
    25. Bewley, Truman, 2004. "Fairness, Reciprocity, and Wage Rigidity," IZA Discussion Papers 1137, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    26. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Introduction to "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy"," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 1-12, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Oyer, Paul, 2004. "Salary or Benefits?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8xs3k3j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    28. 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.
    29. Carlsson Mikael & Westermark Andreas, 2008. "Monetary Policy under Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-61, October.
    30. Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde & Thomas Bauer, 2007. "Wage Rigidity: Measurement, Causes and Consequences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 499-507, November.
    31. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2003. "Labour Demand in Germany: An Assessment of Non-Wage Labour Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 952, CESifo.
    32. Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2012. "Downward Wage Regidity for Different Workers and Firms," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 55(1), pages 5-32.
    33. 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.
    34. Philip Du Caju & Erwan Gautier & Daphne Momferatu & Melanie Ward-Warmedinger, 2009. "Institutional Features of Wage Bargaining in 23 European Countries, the US and Japan," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 12(2), pages 57-108, Winter.
    35. Hausman, Jerry & McFadden, Daniel, 1984. "Specification Tests for the Multinomial Logit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1219-1240, September.
    36. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    37. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    38. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    39. Philip Vermeulen, 2006. "Employment stickiness in small manufacturing firms," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 144, Society for Computational Economics.
    40. 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.
    41. 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.
    42. Campbell, Carl M, III, 1997. "The Variation in Wage Rigidity by Occupation and Union Status in the US," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(1), pages 133-147, February.
    43. Lebow David E & Saks Raven E & Wilson Beth Anne, 2003. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity: Evidence from the Employment Cost Index," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, October.
    44. 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.
    45. Steinar Holden, 2002. "The Costs of Price Stability - Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," NBER Working Papers 8865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    46. Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2009. "Understanding sectoral differences in downward real wage rigidity : workforce composition, institutions, technology and competition," Working Paper Research 156, National Bank of Belgium.
    47. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
    48. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    49. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-538, June.
    50. Franz, Wolfgang & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2006. "Reasons for wage rigidity in Germany," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 25659, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    51. Wolfgang Franz & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2006. "Reasons for Wage Rigidity in Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(2), pages 255-284, June.
    52. Fuss, Catherine & Wintr, Ladislav & Du Caju, Philip, 2007. "Downward wage rigidity for different workers and firms: an evaluation for Belgium using the IWFP procedure," Working Paper Series 840, European Central Bank.
    53. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2009. "How strong is the macroeconomic case for downward real wage rigidity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 605-615, May.
    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. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julian Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2013. "Why firms avoid cutting wages: Survey evidence from European firms," Working Paper Research 251, National Bank of Belgium.
    2. 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.
    3. Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2012. "Downward Wage Regidity for Different Workers and Firms," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 55(1), pages 5-32.
    4. Du Caju, Philip & Fuss, Catherine & Wintr, Ladislav, 2012. "Sectoral differences in downward real wage rigidity: workforce composition, institutions, technology and competition," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 45(1), pages 7-22.
    5. 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.
    6. Dias, Daniel A. & Marques, Carlos Robalo & Martins, Fernando, 2013. "Wage rigidity and employment adjustment at the firm level: Evidence from survey data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 40-49.
    7. 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.
    8. Jan Babecký & Clémence Berson & Ludmila Fadejeva & Ana Lamo & Petra Marotzke & Fernando Martins & Pawel Strzelecki, 2019. "Non-base wage components as a source of wage adaptability to shocks: evidence from European firms, 2010–2013," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 8(1), pages 1-18, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Ana María Iregui B. & Ligia Alba Melo B. & María Teresa Ramírez G., 2009. "Are wages rigid in Colombia?: Empirical evidence based on a sample of wages at the firm level," Borradores de Economia 571i, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    11. 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.
    12. Eva Branten & Ana Lamo & Tairi Room, 2018. "Nominal wage rigidity in the EU countries before and after the Great Recession: evidence from the WDN surveys," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2018-03, Bank of Estonia, revised 15 Jun 2018.
    13. Babecký, Jan & Du Caju, Philip & Kosma, Theodora & Lawless, Martina & Messina, Julián & Rõõm, Tairi, 2012. "How do European firms adjust their labour costs when nominal wages are rigid?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 792-801.
    14. Patrick Lünnemann & Ladislav Wintr, 2010. "Downward wage rigidity and automatic wage indexation: Evidence from monthly micro wage data," BCL working papers 48, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    15. Fernando Martins, 2015. "What Survey Data Reveal about Price and Wage Rigidity in Portugal," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(3), pages 291-309, September.
    16. Druant, Martine & Fabiani, Silvia & Kezdi, Gabor & Lamo, Ana & Martins, Fernando & Sabbatini, Roberto, 2012. "Firms' price and wage adjustment in Europe: Survey evidence on nominal stickiness," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 772-782.
    17. Jan Babecký, Clémence Berson, Ludmila Fadejeva, Ana Lamo, Petra Marotzke, Fernando Martins, Pawel Strzelecki, 2018. "Non-base wage components as a source of wage adaptability to shocks: Evidence from European firms, 2010–2013," Working papers 681, Banque de France.
    18. Ahrens, Steffen & Pirschel, Inske & Snower, Dennis J., 2014. "A theory of wage adjustment under loss aversion," Kiel Working Papers 1977, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    19. 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.
    20. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2014. "Wage Rigidity, Inflation, and Institutions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(2), pages 539-569, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour costs; wage rigidity; firm survey; European Union;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:eea:boewps:wp2009-03. 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: (Peeter Luikmel). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/epgovee.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 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.

    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.