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Wage rigidity and employment adjustment at the firm level: Evidence from survey data

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  • FERNANDO MARTINS
  • Daniel Dias
  • Carlos Marques

Abstract

This paper uses firm level survey data from Portugal to investigate how firms adjust their labour costs in the presence of wage rigidities. In particular, the paper contributes to the literature by analysing how firms, in the presence of wage rigidity, combine different channels of labour-cost adjustment in response to adverse shocks. Wage rigidity is expected to have implications for unemployment because, in the face of negative shocks, employment adjustment is likely to be larger when wages are rigid downwards. Wage rigidity is also thought to have important implications for monetary policy, as it may condition the inflation target that monetary authorities should pursue. If nominal wages were perfectly flexible it would be optimal to aim at zero inflation but, in the presence of downward nominal wage rigidity, a certain amount of inflation may be required to "grease the wheels" of the labour market by easing reductions in real wages. Model estimated by single equation methods (probit model). Recursive triangular model. We conclude that base-wage flexibility has a strong positive impact on employment, and that such positive impact has been significantly strengthened by the possibility of firms resorting to alternative margins of labour cost adjustment, like more flexible compensation components (bonus, benefits and promotions) and the recruitment of new employees at wages lower than those received by the employees that have left the firm.

Suggested Citation

  • FERNANDO MARTINS & Daniel Dias & Carlos Marques, 2013. "Wage rigidity and employment adjustment at the firm level: Evidence from survey data," EcoMod2013 4944, EcoMod.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekd:004912:4944
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    File URL: http://ecomod.net/system/files/Labour_Cost_Adjust_2012_August.pdf
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    2. Fernando Martins, 2015. "On the wage bargaining system in Portugal," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    3. Aedín Doris & Donal O’Neill & Olive Sweetman, 2015. "Wage flexibility and the great recession: the response of the Irish labour market," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, December.
    4. Cyprien Batut & Eric Maurin, 2020. "Termination of Employment Contracts by Mutual Consent and Labor Market Fluidity," IAAEU Discussion Papers 202005, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    5. 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.
    6. Pedro S. Martins, 2021. "30,000 Minimum Wages: The Economic Effects of Collective Bargaining Extensions," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 59(2), pages 335-369, June.
    7. Marotzke Petra & Anderton Robert & Bairrao Ana & Berson Clémence & Tóth Peter, 2020. "Asymmetric wage adjustment and employment in European firms," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 20(2), pages 1-25, June.
    8. Dany Brouillette & Olena Kostyshyna & Natalia Kyui, 2018. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Canada: Evidence from micro-level data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 51(3), pages 968-1002, August.
    9. Fernando Martins, 2016. "How the Portuguese firms adjusted to the economic and financial crisis: main shocks and channels of adjustment," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    10. Beatrice Scheubel, 2014. "Does It Pay to Be a Woman?: Labour Demand Effects of Maternity-Related Job Protection and Replacement Incomes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 685, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Guimaraes, Paulo & Martins, Fernando & Portugal, Pedro, 2017. "Upward Nominal Wage Rigidity," IZA Discussion Papers 10510, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Yang, Daecheon & Song, Jeongseok, 2018. "Impact of wage rigidity on sovereign credit rating," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 25-41.
    13. Carlos Robalo Marques & Fernando Martins & Daniel Dias, 2012. "Labour cost-cutting strategies microeconomic evidence from survey data," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    14. Batut, Cyprien & Maurin, Eric, 2019. "From Ultima Ratio to Mutual Consent: The Effects of Changing Employment Protection Doctrine," IZA Discussion Papers 12440, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. 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.
    16. Saiful Alim Rosyadi & Tri Widodo, 2018. "Impact of Donald Trump’s tariff increase against Chinese imports on global economy: Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 125-145, April.
    17. Pedro S. Martins, 2014. "30,000 minimum wages: The economic effects of collective agreement extensions," Working Papers 51, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    18. de Ridder, M. & Pfajfar, D., 2017. "Policy Shocks and Wage Rigidities: Empirical Evidence from Regional Effects of National Shocks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1717, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    19. Fernando Martins, 2013. "Survey evidence on price and wage rigidities in Portugal," Working Papers w201312, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Portugal; Labor market issues; Microsimulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions

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