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Real Wage Cyclicality in Germany and the UK: New Results Using Panel Data

Author

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  • Peng, Fei

    (Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance)

  • Siebert, W. Stanley

    (University of Birmingham)

Abstract

This paper compares the cyclical behaviour of male real wages in Germany and the UK using the German Socio-Economic Panel 1984-2002 and the British Household Panel Survey 1991-2004. We distinguish between job stayers (remaining in the same job), and within- and between-company job movers. Stayers are the large majority in both countries. Using changes in the unemployment rate as the cyclical measure, we find real wages of stayers in the private sector in West Germany – but not East Germany – to be procyclical, and quite sensitive to unemployment, comparable to the US and the UK. We find cyclicality in the public sector in neither country. Thus real wage flexibility is similar in the two countries, apart from East Germany, despite apparent differences in wage-setting institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Peng, Fei & Siebert, W. Stanley, 2007. "Real Wage Cyclicality in Germany and the UK: New Results Using Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2688, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2688
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "Unemployment And Hours Of Work: The North Atlantic Divide Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 1-36, February.
    2. Messina, Julian & Strozzi, Chiara & Turunen, Jarkko, 2009. "Real wages over the business cycle: OECD evidence from the time and frequency domains," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1183-1200, June.
    3. Anger, Silke, 2011. "The cyclicality of effective wages within employer–employee matches in a rigid labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 786-797.
    4. Montornès, Jérémi & Sauner-Leroy, Jacques-Bernard, 2009. "Wage-setting behavior in France: additional evidence from an ad-hoc survey," Working Paper Series 1102, European Central Bank.
    5. Hermann Gartner & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2013. "Wage Cyclicality Under Different Regimes of Industrial Relations," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 516-540, April.
    6. Lili Kang & Fei Peng, 2018. "Economic Reform and Productivity Convergence in China," Arthaniti: Journal of Economic Theory and Practice, , vol. 17(1), pages 50-82, June.
    7. Ch. Pissarides., 2011. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    8. Martyna Marczak & Thomas Beissinger, 2013. "Real wages and the business cycle in Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 469-490, April.
    9. Fei Peng & Lili Kang, 2013. "Labor Market Institutions and Skill Premiums: An Empirical Analysis on the UK, 1972-2002," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(4), pages 959-982.
    10. Stüber, Heiko & Snell, Andy, 2014. "Downward Real Wage Rigidity and Equal Treatment Wage Contracts: Evidence from Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100601, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Peng, Fei & Kang, Lili, 2013. "Cyclical changes in the wage structure of the United Kingdom: a historical review of the GHS 1972-2002," MPRA Paper 47210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Lili Kang & Fei Peng, 2017. "Wage flexibility in the Chinese labour market, 1989–2009," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 616-628, April.
    13. Shin Donggyun, 2012. "Cyclicality of Real Wages in Korea," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-19, January.
    14. Fei Peng & W. Stanley Siebert, 2008. "Real Wage Cyclicality in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(4), pages 569-591, December.
    15. Moritz Kuhn & Philip Jung, 2010. "Labor market rigidity and the transmission of business cycle shocks," 2010 Meeting Papers 595, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Fei Peng & Sajid Anwar & Lili Kang, 2020. "Job Movement and Real Wage Flexibility in Eastern and Western Parts of Germany," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 44(4), pages 764-789, October.
    17. Fei Peng & Sajid Anwar & Lili Kang, 0. "Job Movement and Real Wage Flexibility in Eastern and Western Parts of Germany," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 0, pages 1-26.
    18. Robert Anderton & Arno Hantzsche & Simon Savsek & Máté Tóth, 2017. "Sectoral Wage Rigidities and Labour and Product Market Institutions in the Euro Area," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 28(5), pages 923-965, November.
    19. Lyashok, Victor Yu. (Ляшок, Виктор) & Lopatina, Marina V. (Лопатина, Марина), 2019. "Wage Flexibility in Russia: Empirical Evidence from Microdata Analysis [Гибкость Заработных Плат В России: Что Показывают Микроданные?]," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 4, pages 96-119, August.
    20. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan P. Thomas, 2012. "Measuring What Employers Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle: A New Approach," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 36-55, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    real wage cyclicality; job stayers; Germany; United Kingdom; GSOEP; BHPS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law

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