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Wage Adjustment and Productivity Shocks


  • Carlsson, Mikael

    () (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

  • Messina, Julián

    () (Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean)

  • Nordström Skans, Oskar

    () (Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU), UCLS, and IZA)


We study how workers’ wages respond to TFP-driven innovations in firms’ labor productivity. Using unique data with highly reliable firm-level output prices and quantities in the manufacturing sector in Sweden, we are able to derive measures of physical (as opposed to revenue) TFP to instrument labor productivity in the wage equations. We find that the reaction of wages to sectoral labor productivity is almost three times larger than the response to pure idiosyncratic (firm-level) shocks, a result which crucially hinges on the use of physical TFP as an instrument. These results are all robust to a number of empirical specifications, including models accounting for selection on both the demand and supply side through worker-firm (match) fixed effects. Further results suggest that technological progress at the firm level has negligible effects on the firm-level composition of employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Mikael & Messina, Julián & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2011. "Wage Adjustment and Productivity Shocks," Working Paper Series 253, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0253

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    Cited by:

    1. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Mairesse, Jacques, 2017. "Comparing Micro-Evidence on Rent Sharing from Two Different Econometric Models," IZA Discussion Papers 11156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Carlsson, Mikael & Westermark, Andreas, 2011. "The New Keynesian Phillips Curve and staggered price and wage determination in a model with firm-specific labor," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 579-603, April.
    3. Patrick Kline & Enrico Moretti, 2013. "Place Based Policies with Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 238-243, May.
    4. Card, David & Cardoso, Ana Rute & Kline, Patrick, 2013. "Bargaining and the Gender Wage Gap: A Direct Assessment," IZA Discussion Papers 7592, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso & Joerg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2018. "Firms and Labor Market Inequality: Evidence and Some Theory," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 13-70.
    6. Borota Milicevic, Teodora & Carlsson, Mikael, 2016. "Markups from Inventory Data and Export Intensity," Working Paper Series 2016:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    7. Carlsson, Mikael & Messina, Julián & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2014. "Firm-level shocks and labor adjustments," Working Paper Series 2014:28, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    8. Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2012. "Rigid Wages and Flexible Employment ?Contrasting Responses to Firm-Level and Sector-Level Productivity Developments," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 55(3), pages 241-268.
    9. Carlsson, Mikael & Westermark, Andreas, 2016. "Endogenous Separations, Wage Rigidities and Employment Volatility," Working Paper Series 326, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    10. Sean Dougherty & Verónica C. Frisancho Robles & Kala Krishna, 2011. "Employment Protection Legislation and Plant-Level Productivity in India," NBER Working Papers 17693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Long Thanh Giang & Cuong Viet Nguyen & Tuyen Quang Tran, 2015. "A Linkage between Firm Agglomeration and Poverty Reduction First evidence in Vietnam," Working Papers 2015-617, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    12. Hensvik, Lena, 2011. "Manager impartiality? Worker-firm matching and the gender wage gap," Working Paper Series 2011:22, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    13. Eliason, Marcus & Hensvik, Lena & Kramarz, Francis & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2017. "The causal impact of social Connections on firms' outcomes," Working Paper Series 2017:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

    More about this item


    matched employer-employee data; sorting; wage; labor productivity; TFP;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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