IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp10066.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Wage Flexibility and Employment Fluctuations: Evidence from the Housing Sector

Author

Listed:
  • Pischke, Jörn-Steffen

    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Many economists suspect that downward nominal wage rigidities in ongoing labor contracts are an important source of employment fluctuations over the business cycle but there is little direct empirical evidence on this conjecture. This paper compares three occupations in the housing sector with very different wage setting institutions, real estate agents, architects, and construction workers. I study the wage and employment responses of these occupations to the housing cycle, a proxy for labor demand shocks to the industry. The employment of real estate agents, whose pay is far more flexible than the other occupations, indeed reacts less to the cycle than employment in the other occupations. However, unless labor demand elasticities are large, the estimates do not suggest that the level of wage flexibility enjoyed by real estate agents would buffer employment fluctuations in response to demand shocks by more than 10 to 20 percent compared to completely rigid wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2016. "Wage Flexibility and Employment Fluctuations: Evidence from the Housing Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 10066, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10066
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ftp.iza.org/dp10066.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
    2. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-955.
    3. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25.
    4. Glaeser, Edward L. & Gyourko, Joseph & Saiz, Albert, 2008. "Housing supply and housing bubbles," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 198-217, September.
    5. Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999. "The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ch. Pissarides., 2011. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    7. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    8. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 329-333, May.
    9. Card, David, 1990. "Unexpected Inflation, Real Wages, and Employment Determination in Union Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 669-688, September.
    10. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Can Free Entry Be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1076-1122, October.
    11. Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
    12. 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.
    13. Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-137, March.
    14. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
    15. Kambourov, Gueorgui & Manovskii, Iourii, 2013. "A Cautionary Note On Using (March) Current Population Survey And Panel Study Of Income Dynamics Data To Study Worker Mobility," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 172-194, January.
    16. Supreet Kaur, 2014. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in Village Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 20770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Michael W. L. Elsby & Donggyun Shin & Gary Solon, 2016. "Wage Adjustment in the Great Recession and Other Downturns: Evidence from the United States and Great Britain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 249-291.
    18. Holzer, Harry J & Montgomery, Edward B, 1993. "Asymmetries and Rigidities in Wage Adjustments by Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 397-408, August.
    19. Thomas Lemieux & W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 2012. "Contract Form, Wage Flexibility, and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 526-531, May.
    20. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-688, August.
    21. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1993. "Labor Demand and the Source of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 4394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Joseph Gyourko & Albert Saiz, 2006. "Construction Costs And The Supply Of Housing Structure," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 661-680, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Emmanuele Bobbio & Marta De Philippis & Federico Giorgi, 2016. "Wage rigidities and business cycle fluctuations: a linked employer-employee analysis," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, December.
    2. de Ridder, M. & Pfajfar, D., 2017. "Policy Shocks and Wage Rigidities: Empirical Evidence from Regional Effects of National Shocks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1717, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Liao, Shushu, 2021. "The effect of credit shocks in the context of labor market frictions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    4. Wix, Carlo, 2017. "The long-run real effects of banking crises: Firm-level investment dynamics and the role of wage rigidity," SAFE Working Paper Series 189, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    5. Konopczak, Karolina, 2019. "Modelling labour adjustments over the business cycle: evidence from non-linear ARDL model," MF Working Papers 35, Ministry of Finance in Poland.
    6. Konopczak, Karolina, 2021. "Modelling labour adjustments over the business cycle using asymmetric cointegration," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 23(C).
    7. Wataru Hirata & Toshitaka Maruyama & Tomohide Mineyama, 2020. "Flattening of the Wage Phillips Curve and Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity: The Japanese Experience in the 2010s," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 20-E-4, Bank of Japan.
    8. Maryam Akbari Nasiri, 2020. "How Long Do Housing Cycles Last? A Duration Analysis For Emerging Economies," Bulletin of Monetary Economics and Banking, Bank Indonesia, vol. 23(2), pages 179-200, June.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Daniel Schäfer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Nominal Wage Adjustments and the Composition of Pay: New Evidence from Payroll Data," Economics working papers 2020-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Dany Brouillette & Olena Kostyshyna & Natalia Kyui, 2018. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Canada: Evidence from micro-level data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 51(3), pages 968-1002, August.
    3. Hervé Le Bihan & Jérémi Montornès & Thomas Heckel, 2012. "Sticky Wages: Evidence from Quarterly Microeconomic Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 1-32, July.
    4. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2291-2372 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Basu, S. & House, C.L., 2016. "Allocative and Remitted Wages," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 297-354, Elsevier.
    6. Du Caju, Philip & Fuss, Catherine & Wintr, Ladislav, 2009. "Understanding sectoral differences in downward real wage rigidity: workforce composition, institutions, technology and competition," Working Paper Series 1006, European Central Bank.
    7. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    8. Puhani, Patrick A., 2000. "On the identification of relative wage rigidity dynamics: a proposal for a methodology on cross-section data and empirical evidence for Poland in transition," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-56, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    9. Thomas Dohmen & Hartmut F. Lehmann & Mark E. Schaffer, 2014. "Wage Policies of a Russian Firm and the Financial Crisis of 1998: Evidence from Personnel Data, 1997 to 2002," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(2), pages 504-531, April.
    10. Bruce Fallick & Michael Lettau & William L. Wascher, 2016. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United States during and after the Great Recession," Working Papers (Old Series) 1602, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    11. Kevin x.d. Huang & Munechika Katayama & Mototsugu Shintani & Takayuki Tsuruga, 2017. "Sticky-Wage Models and Knowledge Capital: A Note," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 17-00006, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    12. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in Canadian Collective Bargaining Agreements," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 429-448, April.
    13. 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.
    14. Abo-Zaid, Salem, 2013. "Optimal monetary policy and downward nominal wage rigidity in frictional labor markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 345-364.
    15. Patrick Lünnemann & Ladislav Wintr, 2009. "Wages are flexible, aren?t they? evidence from monthly micro wage data," BCL working papers 39, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    16. Balazs Reizer, 2016. "Do Firms Pay Bonuses to Protect Jobs?," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 1612, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    17. Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2007. "Downward wage rigidity for different workers and firms : an evaluation for Belgium using the IWFP procedure," Working Paper Research 124, National Bank of Belgium.
    18. Lünnemann, Patrick & Wintr, Ladislav, 2010. "Downward wage rigidity and automatic wage indexation: evidence from monthly micro wage data," Working Paper Series 1269, European Central Bank.
    19. Götte, Lorenz & Huffman, David B., 2005. "Do Emotions Improve Labor Market Outcomes?," IZA Discussion Papers 1895, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Puhani, Patrick A., 2002. "Relative wage and unemployment changes in Poland: microeconometric evidence," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 99-126, June.
    21. Louis Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2001. "Nominal Wage Rigidity: Non-Parametric Tests Based on Union Data for Canada," CESifo Working Paper Series 535, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage setting; wage rigidity; commissions; real estate agents; architects; construction workers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10066. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.