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Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity: Sweden in the 1990s

  • Agell, Jonas

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

  • Lundborg, Per

    (Trade Union Institute for Economic Research)

We present the results from a repeat survey on wage rigidity in a sample of 159 Swedish firms, conducted during a prolonged period of very high unemployment and very low inflation. We document the virtual absence of wage cuts, and trace this pervasive nominal rigidity to a set of interacting factors, including the legal status of the wage contract, the structure of bargaining institutions, and the design of social insurance. But employees’ concerns about fairness and relative wages also appear to play an important role. In addition, we report new results on underbidding, efficiency wage mechanisms, and unemployment persistence.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/fiefwp/papers/WP154.pdf
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Paper provided by Trade Union Institute for Economic Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 154.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 22 Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2003, pages 15-29.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:fiefwp:0154
Note: This paper is a revised version of Working Paper 1999:2 of the Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation, IFAU, and Working Paper 1999:12 of Department of Economics, Uppsala University.
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  1. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  2. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
  3. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  4. Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Discussion Paper 1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Calmfors, Lars, 1993. "Lessons from the macroeconomic experience of Sweden," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-72, March.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
  7. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
  9. Holden, Steinar, 1998. " Wage Drift and the Relevance of Centralised Wage Setting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(4), pages 711-31, December.
  10. Bewley, Truman F, 1995. "A Depressed Labor Market as Explained by Participants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 250-54, May.
  11. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  12. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  13. Alan S. Blinder & Don H. Choi, 1989. "A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness," NBER Working Papers 3105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
  15. Holden, Steinar, 1994. "Wage bargaining and nominal rigidities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1021-1039, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  18. repec:dgr:kubcen:199837 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  20. Bewley, Truman F., 1998. "Why not cut pay?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 459-490, May.
  21. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
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