IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp12279.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Wage Equalization and Regional Misallocation: Evidence from Italian and German Provinces

Author

Listed:
  • Boeri, Tito

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Ichino, Andrea

    () (European University Institute)

  • Moretti, Enrico

    () (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Posch, Johanna

    () (European University Institute)

Abstract

In many European countries, wages are determined by collective bargaining agreements intended to improve wages and reduce inequality. We study the local and aggregate effects of collective bargaining in Italy and Germany. The two countries have similar geographical differences in firm productivity – with the North more productive than the South in Italy and the West more productive than the East in Germany – but have adopted different models of wage bargaining. Italy sets wages based on nationwide contracts that allow for limited local wage adjustments, while Germany has moved toward a more flexible system that allows for local bargaining. We find that, as a consequence, Italy exhibits limited geographical wage differences in nominal terms and almost no relationship between local productivity and local nominal wages, while Germany has larger geographic wage differences and a tighter link between local wages and local productivity. While the Italian system is successful at reducing nominal wage inequality, it also creates costly geographic imbalances. In Italy, low productivity provinces have significantly higher non-employment rates than high productivity provinces, because employers cannot lower wages, while in Germany the relationship between non-employment and productivity is significantly weaker. In Italy, the relationship between real wages and productivity is negative, with lower real wages in the North compared to the South, since the latter has low housing costs but similar nominal wages. Thus, conditional on having a job, Italian workers have higher purchasing power in the South, but the probability of having a job is higher in the North. We conclude that the Italian system has significant costs in terms of forgone aggregate earnings and employment because it generates a spatial equilibrium where workers queue for jobs in the South and remain unemployed while waiting. If Italy adopted the German system, aggregate employment and earnings would increase by 11.04% and 7.45%, respectively. Our findings are relevant for several other European countries with systems similar to Italy's.

Suggested Citation

  • Boeri, Tito & Ichino, Andrea & Moretti, Enrico & Posch, Johanna, 2019. "Wage Equalization and Regional Misallocation: Evidence from Italian and German Provinces," IZA Discussion Papers 12279, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12279
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp12279.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paolo Buonanno & Ruben Durante & Giovanni Prarolo & Paolo Vanin, 2015. "Poor Institutions, Rich Mines: Resource Curse in the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(586), pages 175-202, August.
    2. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090.
    3. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:151-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Torben M. Andersen, 2003. "Wage formation and European integration," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 188, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    5. Calmfors, Lars & Horn, Henrik, 1986. "Employment Policies and Centralized Wage-Setting," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(211), pages 281-302, August.
    6. David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2004. "Unions and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(4), pages 519-562, October.
    7. Andrea Garnero, 2018. "The dog that barks doesn’t bite: coverage and compliance of sectoral minimum wages in Italy," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-24, December.
    8. Patrick Kline & Enrico Moretti, 2013. "Place Based Policies with Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 238-243, May.
    9. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2000. "The dynamics of household wealth accumulation in Italy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 269-295, June.
    10. Piero, Casadio, 2003. "Wage formation in the Italian private sector after the 1992-93 income policy agreements," MPRA Paper 29396, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Andrea Brandolini & Piero Casadio & Piero Cipollone & Marco Magnani & Alfonso Rosolia, 2007. "Employment Growth in Italy in the 1990s: Institutional Arrangements and Market Forces," AIEL Series in Labour Economics, in: Nicola Acocella & Riccardo Leoni (ed.), Social Pacts, Employment and Growth. A Reappraisal of Ezio Tarantelli’s Thought, edition 1, chapter 4, pages 31-68, AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
    12. Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Uta Sch?nberg & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2014. "From Sick Man of Europe to Economic Superstar: Germany's Resurgent Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 167-188, Winter.
    13. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    14. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
    15. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881.
    16. Hornbeck, Richard & Moretti, Enrico, 2018. "Who Benefits From Productivity Growth? Direct and Indirect Effects of Local TFP Growth on Wages, Rents, and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 12953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Marco Manacorda, 2004. "Can the Scala Mobile Explain the Fall and Rise of Earnings Inequality in Italy? A Semiparametric Analysis, 19771993," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 585-614, July.
    18. Maria Bigoni & Stefania Bortolotti & Marco Casari & Diego Gambetta & Francesca Pancotto, 2016. "Amoral Familism, Social Capital, or Trust? The Behavioural Foundations of the Italian North–South Divide," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(594), pages 1318-1341, August.
    19. Boeri, Tito & Brugiavini, Agar & Calmfors, Lars (ed.), 2001. "The Role of Unions in the Twenty-first Century: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199246588.
    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. Bernardo Fanfani, 2019. "The Employment Effects of Collective Bargaining," Working papers 064, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    2. Belloc, Marianna & Naticchioni, Paolo & Vittori, Claudia, 2019. "Urban Wage Premia, Cost of Living, and Collective Bargaining," IZA Discussion Papers 12806, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Marianna Belloc & Paolo Naticchioni & Claudia Vittori, 2018. "Urban Wage Premia, Cost of Living, and Collective Bargaining," CESifo Working Paper Series 7253, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    local labor markets;

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

    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:dp12279. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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 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.

    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.