IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Do wages reflect labor productivity? The case of Belgian regions

Listed author(s):
  • Jozef Konings
  • Luca Marcolin
Registered author(s):

    Unemployment rates are significantly different across regions in Belgium. In the search for an explanation for this fact, we simultaneously estimate a wage and labor productivity equations where we include regional dummies as explanatory variables. We find that the wage-productivity gap reached 11% for Brussels and 4.2% for Wallonia in the years 2005-2012. This was driven by the negative performance in labor productivity of the firms in these regions relative to Flanders, which more than compensated for the advantage in unit labor costs they could profit from. On the other hand, the gap for Brussels is found to be currently decreasing in time thanks to a positive growth rate in labor productivity. The sign and magnitude of the wage-productivity gap is robust to the estimation of the relationship using hours worked instead of employees, and including benefits to salaries into the cost of labor. These results are coherent with the existence at the regional level of institutional barriers to the firm-level adjustment of wages to labor productivity. Among the possible explanations for this, our estimations suggest that a reduction in the gap between labor costs and productivity may be achieved through greater wage flexibility at the regional level.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics in its series Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics with number 38.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2013
    Handle: RePEc:ete:vivwps:38
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ete:vivwps:38. 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: (library EBIB)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.