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Evidence on nominal wage rigidity from a panel of U.S. manufacturing industries

Listed author(s):
  • Vivek Ghosal
  • Prakash Loungani

Using annual data for 450 manufacturing industries over the period 1958 to 1989, we establish the following stylized facts on the response of industry nominal wage growth to aggregate and industry influences: ; 1. We find support for the canonical wage contracts model outlined in Blanchard and Fischer (1989). The elasticity of response of nominal wage growth to expected inflation is 0.7. The dasticity of nominal wage growth with respect to changes in unexpected inflation is 0.1. ; 2. These elasticity estimates are robust to splitting the sample along various dimensions: level of unionization, durability of the product, and industry contract length. The elasticity of nominal wage growth to expected inflation ranges from 0.6 to 0.8; the elasticity with respect to unexpected inflation is between 0.1 and 0.2. ; 3. We find support for the multi-sector wage indexation models of Duca and VanHoose (199] ) and others. The profit-sharing elasticity (the response of industry wage growth to industry profit growth) is positive, as hypothesized in these models. The instrumental variable estimates of the profit-sharing elasticity range from 0.1 to 0.3.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 512.

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Date of creation: 1995
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:512
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  1. Ahmed, Shaghil, 1987. "Wage stickiness and the non-neutrality of money : A cross-industry analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 25-50, July.
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  3. Cho, J.O. & Cooley, T.F., 1991. "The Business Cycle with Nominal Contracts," RCER Working Papers 260, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Sargent, Thomas J, 1976. "A Classical Macroeconometric Model for the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 207-237, April.
  5. Oswald, Andrew J., 1993. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve : Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 85-113, June.
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  8. Prescott, David & Wilton, David, 1992. "The Determinants of Wage Changes in Indexed.and Nonindexed Contracts: A Switching Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 331-355, July.
  9. Michael A. Curme & Barry T. Hirsch & David A. MacPherson, 1990. "Union Membership and Contract Coverage in the United States, 1983–1988," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 5-33, October.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Card, David, 1990. "Unexpected Inflation, Real Wages, and Employment Determination in Union Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 669-688, September.
  12. Gordon, Robert J, 1988. "The Role of Wages in the Inflation Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 276-283, May.
  13. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "Does Anticipated Aggregate Demand Policy Matter? Further Econometric Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 788-802, September.
  14. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  15. Charles A. Fleischman, 1999. "The causes of business cycles and the cyclicality of real wages," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  18. Waldo, Douglas G., 1981. "Sticky nominal wages and the optimal employment rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 339-353.
  19. In-Moo Kim & Prakash Loungani, 1991. "The role of energy in real business cycle models," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  20. Gottfries, Nils, 1992. "Insiders, Outsiders, and Nominal Wage Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 252-270, April.
  21. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1992. "Wages, Profits and Rent-Sharing," NBER Working Papers 4222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 3206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1979. "New Estimates of Private Sector Unionism in the United States," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 32(2), pages 143-174, January.
  24. Montgomery, Edward & Shaw, Kathryn, 1985. "Long-term contracts, expectations and wage inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 209-226, September.
  25. Marcello Estevao & Stacey Tevlin, 1995. "The role of profits in wage determination: evidence from US manufacturing," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  26. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  27. Duca, John V & VanHoose, David D, 1991. "Optimal Wage Indexation in a Multisector Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(4), pages 859-867, November.
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