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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File URL: https://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2009/Memo-03-2009.pdf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. Thomas Bauer & Holger Bonin & Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Micro Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages F508-F529, November.
  2. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Knoppik, Christoph & Beissinger, Thomas, 2005. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe: An Analysis of European Micro Data from the ECHP 1994-2001," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 402, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. Philip Du Caju & Erwan Gautier & Daphne Momferatu & Melanie Ward-Warmedinger, 2009. "Institutional Features of Wage Bargaining in 23 European Countries, the US and Japan," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 12(2), pages 57-108, Winter.
  11. Holden, S., 1998. "Wage Drift and the Relevance of Centralised Wage Setting," Memorandum 04/1998, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  12. 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," Staff Reports 275, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Holden, Steinar, 1997. "Wage Bargaining, Holdout, and Inflation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 235-55, April.
  14. 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.
  15. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  16. Holden, Steinar, 1994. "Wage bargaining and nominal rigidities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1021-1039, May.
  17. Holden Steinar & Wulfsberg Fredrik, 2008. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-50, April.
  18. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2007. "How strong is the case for downward real wage rigidity?," Working Papers 07-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  19. 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.
  20. Nelson Edward, 2005. "The Great Inflation of the Seventies: What Really Happened?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-50, July.
  21. Moene, Karl O, 1988. "Unions' Threats and Wage Determination," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 471-83, June.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
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