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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.

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Paper provided by Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) in its series Working Paper Series with number 253.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0253
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sveriges Riksbank, SE-103 37 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08 - 787 00 00
Fax: 08-21 05 31
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  1. Carlsson, Mikael & Smedsaas, Jon, 2006. "Technology Shocks and the Labor-Input Response: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Working Paper Series 198, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
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  8. Irarrazabal, Alfonso & Moxnes, Andreas & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 2009. "Heterogeneous firms or heterogeneous workers? Implications for the exporter premium and the impact of labor reallocation on productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 7577, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J & Sanfey, Peter, 1996. "Wages, Profits, and Rent-Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 227-51, February.
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  20. Mikael Carlsson, 2003. "Measures of Technology and the Short-run Response to Technology Shocks," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 555-579, December.
  21. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Sébastien Pérez-Duarte & Ian Schmutte, 2009. "A Formal Test of Assortative Matching in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 15546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous," Discussion Papers 127, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
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