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Real Wages and the Cycle: The View from the Frequency Domain

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  • Bob Hart
  • Jim Malley

    ()

  • Ulrich Woitek

Abstract

In the time domain, the observed cyclical behavior of the real wage hides a range of economic in infuences that give rise to cycles of differing lengths and amplitudes. This may serve to produce a distorted picture of wage cyclicality. Here, we employ frequency domain methods that allow us decompose wages into cyclical components and to assess the relative contribution of each component. These are discussed in relation to wages alone (the univariate case) and to wages in relation to production or employment-based measures of the cycle (multivariate). In the multivariate dimension, we derive methods for determining whether (i) wage and business cycles cohere (ii) lead-lag or contemporaneous relationships exist and (iii) the degree of coherency between wage and business cycles is time dependent. We establish that real wages are strongly procyclical and that the business cycle is the dominant associated influence.

Suggested Citation

  • Bob Hart & Jim Malley & Ulrich Woitek, 2001. "Real Wages and the Cycle: The View from the Frequency Domain," Working Papers 2001_2, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2001_2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
    2. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1992. "International Evidence of the Historical Properties of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 864-888, September.
    3. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Ulrich Woitek, 1998. "A Note on the Baxter-King Filter," Working Papers 9813, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    6. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-247, July-Sept.
    7. Hart, Robert A. & Malley, James R., 1999. "On the Cyclicality and Stability of Real Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 45, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1993. "Low frequency filtering and real business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 207-231.
    9. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1990. "Business cycles: real facts and a monetary myth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-18.
    10. A'Hearn, Brian & Woitek, Ulrich, 2001. "More international evidence on the historical properties of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 321-346, April.
    11. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M., 1995. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series Implications for business cycle research," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 253-278.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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