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Real wage cyclicality in the PSID

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  • Eric T. Swanson

Abstract

Previous studies of real wage cyclicality have made only sparing use of the microdata detail that is available in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The present paper brings to bear this additional detail to investigate the robustness of previous results and to examine whether there are important cross-sectional and demographic differences in wage cyclicality. Although real wages were procyclical across the entire distribution of workers from 1967 to 1991, the wages of lower-income, younger, and less-educated workers exhibited greater procyclicality. However, workers' straight-time hourly pay rates have been acyclical, suggesting that more variable pay margins such as bonuses, overtime, late shift premia, and commissions have played a substantial if not primary role in generating procyclicality.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Real wage cyclicality in the PSID," Working Paper Series 2007-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2007-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, January.
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    3. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    5. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
    6. Robert B. Barsky & Gary Solon, 1989. "Real Wages Over The Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1996. "Macroeconomic Implications of Variation in the Workweek of Capital," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 79-134.
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    10. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-368, July.
    11. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ouyang, Min, 2009. "The scarring effect of recessions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 184-199, March.
    2. Pedro S. Martins, 2007. "Heterogeneity In Real Wage Cyclicality," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(5), pages 684-698, November.

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    Keywords

    Wages ; Labor market;

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