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Wages, Implicit Contracts, and the Business Cycle: Evidence from a European Panel

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  • BELLOU Andriana
  • KAYMAK Baris

Abstract

This paper examines the cyclical behavior of hours and wages in a unique panel of 11 European countries, and documents signi?cant history dependence in wages. Workers who experience favorable market conditions during their tenure on the job, have higher wages, and work fewer labor hours. Unobserved differences in productivity, such as varying job quality, or match-speci?c productivity are not likely to explain this variation. The results instead point to the importance of contractual arrangements in wage determination. In economies with decentralized bargaining practices, such arrangements resemble self-enforcing insurance contracts with onesided commitment (by the employer). On the other hand, in countries with strong unions and centralized wage bargaining, wage behavior is better approximated by full-commitment insurance contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • BELLOU Andriana & KAYMAK Baris, 2011. "Wages, Implicit Contracts, and the Business Cycle: Evidence from a European Panel," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-13, LISER.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2011-13
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    Cited by:

    1. Verdugo, Gregory, 2016. "Real wage cyclicality in the Eurozone before and during the Great Recession: Evidence from micro data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 46-69.
    2. Hotchkiss, Julie L. & Moore, Robert E., 2018. "Some Like It Hot: Assessing Longer-Term Labor Market Benefits from a High-Pressure Economy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2018-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    3. Anderton, Robert & Maria, José R. & Karšay, Alexander & Szörfi, Béla & Périnet, Mathilde & Petroulas, Pavlos & Beck Nelleman, Peter & Conefrey, Thomas & Veiga, Cindy & Zizza, Roberta & Verdugo, Gregor, 2015. "Comparisons and contrasts of the impact of the crisis on euro area labour markets," Occasional Paper Series 159, European Central Bank.
    4. repec:ecb:ecbops:2008159 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Claudia M. Buch, 2013. "Has Labor Income Become More Volatile? Evidence from International Industry-Level Data," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(4), pages 399-431, November.
    6. Yicheng Wang, 2015. "Can Wage Dynamics in Long-term Employment Relationships Help Mitigate Financial Shocks?," 2015 Meeting Papers 1189, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business Cycles; Wage Rigidity; Implicit Contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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