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Wage Rigidity, Institutions, and Inflation

  • Holden , Steinar

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Wulfsberg, Fredrik

    ()

    (Norges Bank)

A number of recent studies have documented extensive downward nominal wage rigidity (dnwr) for job stayers in many oecd countries. However, DNWR for individual workers may induce downward rigidity or “a floor” for the aggregate wage growth at positive or negative levels. Aggregate wage growth may be below zero because of compositional effects, for example that old, high-wage workers are replaced by young low-wage workers. dnwr may also lead to a positive growth in aggregate wages because of changes in relative wages. We explore industry data for 19 oecd countries, over the period 1971–2006. We find evidence for floors on nominal wage growth at 6 percent and lower in the 1970s and 1980s, at one percent in the 1990s, and at 0.5 percent in the 2000s. Furthermore, we find that dnwr is stronger in country-years with strict employment protection legislation, high union density, centralised wage setting and high inflation.

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File URL: https://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2009/Memo-03-2009.pdf
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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 03/2009.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2009_003
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. 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.
  2. Michael W. Elsby, 2006. "Evaluating the Economic Significance of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 12611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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..
  5. Holden, Steinar, 1997. "Wage Bargaining, Holdout, and Inflation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 235-55, April.
  6. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
  7. Carlsson Mikael & Westermark Andreas, 2008. "Monetary Policy under Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-61, October.
  8. Moene, Karl O, 1988. "Unions' Threats and Wage Determination," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 471-83, June.
  9. Christofides, Louis N. & Li, Dingding, 2005. "Nominal and real wage rigidity in a friction model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 235-241, May.
  10. Edward Nelson, 2004. "The Great Inflation of the seventies: what really happened?," Working Papers 2004-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  11. Philip Ducaju & Erwan Gautier & Daphné Momferatou & Mélanie Ward-Warmedinge, 2008. "Institutional features of wage bargaining in 23 European countries, the US and Japan," Working Paper Research 154, National Bank of Belgium.
  12. Holden, Steinar, 1994. "Wage bargaining and nominal rigidities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1021-1039, May.
  13. Thomas Beissinger & Christoph Knoppik, 2006. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe: An Analysis of European Micro Data from the ECHP 1994-2001," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 275/2006, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  14. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  15. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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).
  17. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20131, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. 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.
  19. George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2000. "Near-Rational Wage and Price Setting and the Long-Run Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 1-60.
  20. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bonin, Holger & Goette, Lorenz & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Real and nominal wage rigidities and the rate of inflation: Evidence from West German micro data," Munich Reprints in Economics 20121, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  21. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2007. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in the OECD," Working Paper Series 0777, European Central Bank.
  22. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  23. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  24. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  25. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Working Paper 2004/5, Norges Bank.
  26. 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.
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