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Are real wages rigid downwards?

  • Holden, Steinar

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Wulfsberg, Fredrik

    ()

    (Norges Bank)

This paper explores the existence of downward real wage rigidity (drwr) in 19 oecd countries, over the period 1973–1999, using data for hourly nominal earnings at industry level. Based on a nonparametric statistical method, which allows for country and year specific variation in both the median and the dispersion of industry wage changes, we find evidence of some downward rigidity of real wages in OECD countries overall, as well as for regions and time periods. There is some evidence that real wage cuts are less prevalent under strict employment protection legislation and high union density. Generally, we find stronger evidence for downward nominal than for downward real wage rigidity.

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File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2007/Memo-07-2007.pdf
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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 07/2007.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 28 Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2007_007
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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  1. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "The Beveridge curve, unemployment and wages in the OECD from the 1960s to the 1990s - preliminary version," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20113, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  3. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1999. "Survey evidence on wage rigidity and unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Working Paper Series 1999:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
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  6. Elsby, Michael W.L., 2009. "Evaluating the economic significance of downward nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 154-169, March.
  7. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 11806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Holden, Steinar, 1989. "Wage Drift and Bargaining: Evidence from Norway," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(224), pages 419-32, November.
  9. 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.
  10. Luca Nunziata, 2001. "Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-Country Approach," Economics Papers 2001-W29, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  11. Ellingsen, Tore & Holden, Steinar, 1995. "Sticky Consumption and Rigid Wages," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 62, Stockholm School of Economics.
  12. Cramton, Peter C & Tracy, Joseph S, 1992. "Strikes and Holdouts in Wage Bargaining: Theory and Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 100-121, March.
  13. Andrew Postlewaite & Larry Samuelson & Dan Silverman, 2001. "Consumption Commitments and Preferences for Risk," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 18 May 2004.
  14. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
  15. John C. Driscoll & Steinar Holden, 2004. "Fairness and Inflation Persistence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 240-251, 04/05.
  16. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Working Paper 2004/5, Norges Bank.
  17. Bhaskar, V, 1990. "Wage Relativities and the Natural Range of Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(400), pages 60-66, Supplemen.
  18. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie Ward, 2006. "The interaction of labor markets and inflation: analysis of micro data from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  19. Grubb, David B. & Jackman, Richard & Layard, Richard, 1983. "Wage rigidity and unemployment in OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 11-39.
  20. Steinar Holden, 2004. "Wage Formation under Low Inflation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1252, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Phelps, Edmund S, 1992. "A Review of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1476-90, September.
  22. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," CESifo Working Paper Series 2009, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  24. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe (new title: The costs of price stability - downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe)," CESifo Working Paper Series 1177, CESifo Group Munich.
  25. Holden, Steinar, 1997. "Wage Bargaining, Holdout, and Inflation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 235-55, April.
  26. 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.
  27. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Kurmann, Andre, 2004. "Efficiency Wages Revisited: The Internal Reference Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 4503, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Lebow David E & Saks Raven E & Wilson Beth Anne, 2003. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity: Evidence from the Employment Cost Index," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, October.
  29. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Knoppik, Christoph & Beissinger, Thomas, 2001. "How Rigid are Nominal Wages? Evidence and Implications for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 357, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  32. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  33. Beth Anne Wilson, 1999. "Wage rigidity: a look inside the firm," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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