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Still Searching for the Wage Curve: Evidence from Germany and Italy

  • Ammermüller, Andreas

    ()

    (Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS), Germany)

  • Lucifora, Claudio

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Origo, Federica

    ()

    (University of Bergamo)

  • Zwick, Thomas

    ()

    (University of Würzburg)

This paper investigates the functioning of regional labour markets in Italy and Germany for different employee groups. In the light of high and persistent differences in unemployment and wage rates between the North and South of Italy and the West and East of Germany, we first derive theoretical hypotheses on group specific correlations between regional unemployment and individual wages. Using micro data on hourly wages properly matched to local unemployment rates, we specify and empirically test different wage equations. On the basis of our results, we find no evidence for the existence of a “wage curve” in Italy. In the case of Germany, results are quite sensitive to the model specification and the employee group considered. In both countries, the reaction of wages to local unemployment varies significantly along the wage distribution, being more sensitive around the median quantiles. We conclude that there is no uniform wage curve and call for a differentiated analysis for various groups, taking into account the respective institutional setting.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2674.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Wage flexibility in regional labour markets: Evidence from Italy and Germany' in: Regional Studies, 2010, 44 (4), 401 - 421
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2674
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  1. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Lucifora Claudio & Origo Federica, 1999. "Alla ricerca della flessibilità: un'analisi della curva dei salari in Italia," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 3-36.
  3. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  4. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe, 1998. "The German wage curve: evidence from the IAB employment sample," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 135-142, November.
  5. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  6. Devicenti francesco & Maida Agata & Pacelli Lia, 2005. "The Resurrection of the Italian Wage Curve," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200502, University of Turin.
  7. Chiarini, Bruno & Piselli, Paolo, 1997. "Wage Setting, Wage Curve and Phillips Curve: The Italian Evidence," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 545-65, November.
  8. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
  9. Ammermüller, Andreas & Kuckulenz, Anja & Zwick, Thomas, 2006. "Aggregate Unemployment Decreases Individual Returns to Education," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-34, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Blanchard, O & Katz, L, 1996. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Working papers 96-29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  14. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-25, March.
  15. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  16. Carlo Dell'Aringa & Claudio Lucifora & Federica Origo, 2007. "Public Sector Pay And Regional Competitiveness. A First Look At Regional Public-Private Wage Differentials In Italy," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(4), pages 445-478, 07.
  17. Faggio, Guilia & Nickell, Stephen, 2005. "The responsiveness of wages to labour market conditions in the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 685-696, October.
  18. Silvia Fabiani & Alberto Locarno & Gian Paolo Oneto & Paolo Sestito, 1997. "NAIRU: Incomes Policy and Inflation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 187, OECD Publishing.
  19. Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2002. "The Last Word on the Wage Curve?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-029/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 13 Mar 2003.
  20. Piero CASADIO & Maria LAMELAS & Giorgio RODANO, 2005. "Cambiamento istituzionale, salari e flessibilità: l’esperienza della concertazione in Italia," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 113(2), pages 185-214.
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