IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Are real entry wages rigid over the business cycle? : Empirical evidence for Germany from 1977 to 2009

  • Stüber, Heiko


    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

"So far little empirical evidence exists on how real wages of newly hired workers react to business cycle conditions. This paper aims at filling this gap for Germany by analyzing the cyclical behavior of real wages of newly hired workers while controlling for 'cyclical upgrading' and 'cyclical downgrading' in employee/employer matches over the cycle. The analysis is undertaken for the 1977 to 2009 period using administrative longitudinal matched employer-employee wage data. I find that an increase in the unemployment rate of one percentage point decreases the real wages of job entries within given firm-jobs by about 1.27 percent. In light of the magnitude of the entry-wage cyclicality it seems that introducing wage rigidity in the Mortensen- Pissarides model in order to amplify realistic volatility of unemployment is not supported by the data. Further I show that the procyclicality of the employment/ population ratio is identical to the procyclicality of real entry wages. This counters the view of many macroeconomists that wages are much less cyclical than employment and unemployment." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany] in its series IAB Discussion Paper with number 201206.

in new window

Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 15 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:201206
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Regensburger Str. 104, D-90327 Nürnberg

Phone: 0911/179-0
Fax: 0911/179-3258
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2005. "Real Wage Cyclicality of Job Stayers, Within-Company Job Movers, and Between-Company Job Movers," IZA Discussion Papers 1651, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gartner, Hermann & Merkl, Christian & Rothe, Thomas, 2009. "They are even larger! More (on) puzzling labor market volatilities," Kiel Working Papers 1545, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  3. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Völter, Robert, 2005. "Imputation rules to improve the education variable in the IAB employment subsample," FDZ Methodenreport 200503_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  4. Christian Haefke & Marcus Sonntag & Thijs van Rens, 2007. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Economics Working Papers 1047, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2012.
  5. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment fluctuations with staggered Nash wage bargaining," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2009. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1339-1369, 09.
  7. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415.
  8. Melissa Bjelland & Bruce Fallick & John Haltiwanger & Erika McEntarfer, 2008. "Employer-to-Employer Flows in the United States: Estimates Using Linked Employer-Employee Data," NBER Working Papers 13867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  10. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," Working Papers w200910, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  11. Marcelo Veracierto, 2002. "On the cyclical behavior of employment, unemployment and labor force participation," Working Paper Series WP-02-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Paul J. Devereux, 2004. "Cyclical Quality Adjustment in the Labor Market," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 600-615, January.
  13. Büttner, Thomas & Jacobebbinghaus, Peter & Ludsteck, Johannes, 2010. "Occupational upgrading and the business cycle in West Germany," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 4, pages 1-37.
  14. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2012. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker, Firm, and Job Title Heterogeneity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 133-52, April.
  15. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan Thomas, 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," NBER Working Papers 10326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Feng, Shuaizhang & Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J.S., 2006. "Levels and Long-Term Trends in Earnings Inequality: Overcoming Current Population Survey Censoring Problems Using the GB2 Distribution," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 57-62, January.
  18. Hart, Robert A. & Roberts, J. Elizabeth, 2011. "Job Re-grading, Real Wages, and the Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 5912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  20. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J. S. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Houtenville, Andrew J., 2004. "Long term trends in earnings inequality: what the CPS can tell us," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 295-299, February.
  21. Stüber, Heiko & Beissinger, Thomas, 2010. "Does Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity Dampen Wage Increases?," IZA Discussion Papers 5126, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:201206. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (IAB, Geschäftsbereich Dokumentation und Bibliothek)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.