Downward nominal wage rigidity: evidence from the employment cost index
We examine the extent of downward nominal wage rigidity using the microdata underlying the BLS employment cost index--an extensive, establishment-based dataset with detailed information on wage and benefit costs. We find stronger evidence of downward nominal wage rigidity than did previous studies using panel data on individuals. Firms appear able to circumvent part, but not all, of this rigidity by varying benefits: Total compensation displays modestly less rigidity than do wages alone. Given our estimated amount of rigidity, a simple model predicts that the disinflation over the 1980s would have raised equilibrium unemployment notably. This prediction stands in contrast to the actual behavior of unemployment over this period: The addition of a term capturing the cost of rigidity (that rises as inflation falls) has no additional explanatory power in a standard Phillips Curve equation.
|Date of creation:||1999|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551|
Web page: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/fedsorder.html|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, 08.
- Charles Freedman & Tiff Macklem, 1998. "A Comment on "The Great Canadian Slump"," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 646-665, August.
- Kimura, Takeshi & Ueda, Kazuo, 2001. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 50-67, March.
- Seamus Hogan, 1997.
"What Does Downward Nominal-Wage Rigidity Imply for Monetary Policy?,"
Staff Working Papers
97-13, Bank of Canada.
- Seamus Hogan, 1998. "What Does Downward Nominal-Wage Rigidity Imply for Monetary Policy?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(4), pages 513-525, December.
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997.
"Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?,"
in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1996. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Working Papers 5538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1994.
"The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?,"
9418, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1996. "The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?," Staff Reports 9, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Barth, Erling, 1997. "Firm-Specific Seniority and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 495-506, July.
- Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
- Eldar Shafir & Peter Diamond & Amos Tversky, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-374.
- McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
- Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
- Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
- George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
- Takeshi Kimura & Kazuo Ueda, 1997. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Japan: Is Price Stability Costly?," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series Research and Statistics D, Bank of Japan.
- Ben R. Craig, 1995. "Are wages inflexible?," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Apr.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
- Paul J. Devereux & Joseph G. Altonji, 2000.
"The extent and consequences of downward nominal wage rigidity,"
Open Access publications
10197/311, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
- 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.
- Pierre Fortin, 1996. "The Great Canadian Slump," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 761-87, November.
- David E. Lebow & David J. Stockton & William L. Wascher, 1995. "Inflation, nominal wage rigidity, and the efficiency of labor markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-31. 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: (Franz Osorio)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.