IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Downward nominal wage rigidity: evidence from the employment cost index

  • David E. Lebow
  • Raven E. Saks
  • Beth Anne Wilson
Registered author(s):

    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.

    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: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1999/199931/199931abs.html
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1999/199931/199931pap.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 1999-31.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-31
    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

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1995. "Does Inflation 'Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market'?," Working Papers 735, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Erica L. Groshen & Mark E. Schweitzer, 1994. "The effects of inflation on wage adjustments in firm-level data: grease or sand?," Working Paper 9418, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    8. Barth, Erling, 1997. "Firm-Specific Seniority and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 495-506, July.
    9. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, October.
    10. 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.
    11. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
    12. Pierre Fortin, 1996. "The Great Canadian Slump," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 761-87, November.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.).
    15. Ben Craig, 1995. "Are wages inflexible?," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Apr.
    16. Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
    17. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
    18. 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.
    19. Shafir, Eldar & Diamond, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-74, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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: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: (Kris Vajs)

    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.