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Wage Rigidities in Colombia: Measurement, Causes, and Policy Implications

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  • Agudelo, Sonia A.

    () (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Sala, Hector

    () (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the extent of wage rigidities in Colombia over a period, 2002-2014, in which the fall in unemployment was relatively slow with respect to sustained economic growth. Following Holden and Wulfsberg (2009), we compute a measure of downward real wage rigidity (DRWR) of 12.09%, four times bigger than their aggregate estimate for the OECD economies. Moreover, in contrast to the evidence for the advanced economies, the determinants of such rigidities show no connection to the wage bargaining system. Amid the absence of effective labor market institutions to make rigidities less prevalent, economic growth appears as the most powerful mechanism to ward them off. Under this light, we provide a stylized description of the wage setting rule in Colombia, compare it with the common one in the advanced economies, and call for a far-reaching reform of the Colombian wage bargaining setup.

Suggested Citation

  • Agudelo, Sonia A. & Sala, Hector, 2017. "Wage Rigidities in Colombia: Measurement, Causes, and Policy Implications," IZA Discussion Papers 10669, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10669
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    1. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2010. "Downward Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity: Survey Evidence from European Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 884-910, December.
    2. Stüber, Heiko & Beissinger, Thomas, 2012. "Does downward nominal wage rigidity dampen wage increases?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 870-887.
    3. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2014. "Wage Rigidity, Inflation, and Institutions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(2), pages 539-569, April.
    4. Juli?n Messina & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2014. "Wage Rigidity and Disinflation in Emerging Countries," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 102-133, January.
    5. Nicoletta Batini & Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti, 2011. "The Costs and Benefits of Informality," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0211, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    6. Sonia A. Agudelo & Hector Sala, 2016. "Wage setting in the Colombian manufacturing industry," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 24(1), pages 99-134, January.
    7. Ahmed, Waqas & Choudhary, M. Ali & Khan, Sajawal & Naeem, Saima & Zoega, Gylfi, 2014. "Determinants of wage stickiness in a developing economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 296-304.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    downward real wage rigidity; wage bargaining; minimum wage; informality; unemployment;

    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
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy

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