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Reasons for Wage Rigidity in Germany

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  • Franz, Wolfgang

    () (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Pfeiffer, Friedhelm

    () (ZEW Mannheim)

Abstract

This study investigates institutional and economic reasons for downward wage rigidity regarding three occupational skill groups. Based on a survey of 801 firms in Germany and an econometric analysis, we find strong support for explanations based on the effects of labour union contracts and efficiency wages that differ between skill groups. Survey respondents indicate that labour union contracts and implicit contracts are important reasons for wage rigidity for the (less) skilled. Specific human capital and negative signals for new hires are causes of the stickiness of wages for the highly skilled. Compared with US evidence, German firms seem to attach more importance to labour union contracts and specific human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz, Wolfgang & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2006. "Reasons for Wage Rigidity in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2017, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2017
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage rigidity; labour union contracts; efficiency wage theory; implicit contract theory; regulation of labour;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law

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