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

  • Peng, Fei

    ()

    (University of Birmingham)

  • Siebert, W. Stanley

    ()

    (University of Birmingham)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2688.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2688
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  1. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2005. "Real Wage Cyclicality of Job Stayers, Within-Company Job Movers, and Between-Company Job Movers," IZA Discussion Papers 1651, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Dickens, William T. & Götte, Lorenz & Groshen, Erica L. & Holden, Steinar & Messina, Julián & Schweitzer, Mark E. & Turunen, Jarkko & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2006. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," IZA Discussion Papers 2487, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Gary Solon & Warren Whatley & Ann Huff Stevens, 1997. "Wage changes and intrafirm job mobility over the business cycle: Two case studies," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 402-415, April.
  4. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe (new title: The costs of price stability - downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe)," CESifo Working Paper Series 1177, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2005. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," Memorandum 10/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  6. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1991. "Sticky Prices as Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 539-52, June.
  7. Wolfgang Franz & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2006. "Reasons for Wage Rigidity in Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(2), pages 255-284, 06.
  8. Fei Peng & W. Stanley Siebert, 2008. "Real Wage Cyclicality in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(4), pages 569-591, December.
  9. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Wolfgang Ochel, 2003. "Decentralising Wage Bargaining in Germany – A Way to Increase Employment?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1069, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The Cyclicality of real wages within employer-employee matches," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 835-850, July.
  12. Ebbinghaus, Bernhard & Eichhorst, Werner, 2006. "Employment Regulation and Labor Market Policy in Germany, 1991-2005," IZA Discussion Papers 2505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Donggyun Shin & Gary Solon, 2006. "New Evidence on Real Wage Cyclicality within Employer-Employee Matches," NBER Working Papers 12262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Shin, Donggyun, 1994. "Cyclicality of real wages among young men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 137-142, October.
  15. Virginia Doellgast & Ian Greer, 2007. "Vertical Disintegration and the Disorganization of German Industrial Relations-super-1," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 55-76, 03.
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