IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Provision of Wage Insurance by the Firm: Evidence from a Longitudinal Matched Employer-Employee Dataset

  • Cardoso, Ana Rute


    (IAE Barcelona (CSIC))

  • Portela, Miguel


    (University of Minho)

We evaluate the impact of product market uncertainty on workers wages, addressing the questions: To what extent do firms provide insurance to their workforce, insulating their wages from shocks in product markets? How does the amount of insurance provided vary with firm and worker attributes? We use a longitudinal matched employer-employee dataset of remarkable quality. The empirical strategy is based on Guiso et al. (2005). We first estimate dynamic models of sales and wages to retrieve consistent estimates of shocks to firms’ sales and to workers' earnings. We are then able to estimate the sensitivity of wages to permanent and transitory shocks to firm performance. Results point to the rejection of the full insurance hypothesis. Workers' wages respond to permanent shocks to firm performance, whereas they are not sensitive to transitory shocks. Managers are not fully insured against transitory shocks, while they receive the same protection against permanent shocks as workers in other occupations. Firms with higher variability in their sales, and those operating in different industries, offer more insurance against permanent shocks. Comparison with Guiso et al. (2005) indicates that Portuguese firms provide less insurance than Italian firms, corroborating evidence on the high degree of wage flexibility in Portugal.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1865.

in new window

Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Micro Foundations for Wage Flexibility: Wage Insurance at the Firm Level' in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2009, 111 (1), 29-50
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1865
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Hilderth, A.K. & Oswald, A.J., 1993. "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence form Company and Establishment Panels," Economics Series Working Papers 99154, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. "Long-Term Wage Fluctuations with Industry-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 231-64, January.
  4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:4:p:983-1014 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 545, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 14 Feb 2003.
  7. Nickell, Stephen & Wadhwani, Sushil B, 1989. "Insider Forces and Wage Determination," CEPR Discussion Papers 310, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Ana Rute Cardoso, 1999. "Firms' wage policies and the rise in labor market inequality: The case of Portugal," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 87-102, October.
  9. Gamber, Edward N, 1988. "Long-term Risk-Sharing Wage Contracts in an Economy Subject to Permanent and Temporary Shocks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-99, January.
  10. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1981. "Contractual Models of the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 308-13, May.
  11. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2001. "Insurance within the Firm," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 414, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  12. Gordon, Donald F, 1974. "A Neo-Classical Theory of Keynesian Unemployment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(4), pages 431-59, December.
  13. Joseph G. Altonji & Lewis M. Segal, 1994. "Small Sample Bias in GMM Estimation of Covariance Structures," NBER Technical Working Papers 0156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. John Shea, 1996. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," NBER Technical Working Papers 0193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. repec:oup:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:277-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Harris, Milton & Holstrom, Bengt, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 315-33, July.
  18. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  19. 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 665-88, August.
  20. Weiss, Yoram, 1984. "Wage Contracts When Output Grows Stochastically: The Roles of Mobility Costs and Capital Market Imperfections," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 155-73, April.
  21. Harry J. Holzer & Edward B. Montgomery, 1990. "Asymmetries and Rigidities in Wage Adjustments by Firms," NBER Working Papers 3274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. repec:oup:restud:v:41:y:1974:i:1:p:37-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
  24. repec:oup:restud:v:49:y:1982:i:3:p:315-33 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Paul J. Devereux, 2005. "Do employers provide insurance against low frequency shocks? Industry employment and industry wages," Open Access publications 10197/320, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  26. repec:oup:restud:v:55:y:1988:i:4:p:541-54 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. repec:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:3:p:985-1002 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1865. 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: (Mark Fallak)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.