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

Listed author(s):
  • Agudelo, Sonia A.

    ()

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Sala, Hector

    ()

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10669.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2017
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. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2003. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 762-781, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Elsby, Michael W.L., 2009. "Evaluating the economic significance of downward nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 154-169, March.
  5. Thomas Bauer & Holger Bonin & Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Micro Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 508-529, November.
  6. Stüber, Heiko & Beissinger, Thomas, 2012. "Does downward nominal wage rigidity dampen wage increases?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 870-887.
  7. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2014. "Wage Rigidity, Inflation, and Institutions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(2), pages 539-569, 04.
  8. Druant, Martine & Fabiani, Silvia & Kezdi, Gabor & Lamo, Ana & Martins, Fernando & Sabbatini, Roberto, 2012. "Firms' price and wage adjustment in Europe: Survey evidence on nominal stickiness," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 772-782.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, 01.
  11. Iregui B., Ana Maria & Melo B., Ligia Alba & Ramírez G., María Teresa, 2012. "Wage Adjustment Practices and the Link between Price and Wages: Survey Evidence from Colombian Firms," REVISTA LECTURAS DE ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD DE ANTIOQUIA - CIE, June.
  12. 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.
  13. Daniel Dias & Carlos Marques & Fernando Martins, 2015. "A replication note on downward nominal and real wage rigidity: survey evidence from European firms," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 1143-1152, November.
  14. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
  15. Murtin, Fabrice & de Serres, Alain & Hijzen, Alexander, 2014. "Unemployment and the coverage extension of collective wage agreements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 52-66.
  16. Marc Hofstetter, 2005. "Política Monetaria Y La Corte Constitucional: El Caso Del Salario Mínimo," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003338, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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