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Heterogeneity in Real Wage Cyclicality

  • Martins, Pedro S.

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

This paper presents evidence that real wage cyclicality can be a particularly heterogeneous parameter, depending on different worker characteristics and also on the specific stage of the business cycle. Using matched employer-employee panel data for Portugal covering the period 1986-2004, real wages are shown to be considerably more procyclical during recessions than during expansions, resulting in relatively moderate overall levels of cyclicality (about -0.6). However, most of the procyclicality during downturns is shown to be driven by the younger employees, as older workers appear to be insulated from the business cycle. Moreover, movers between firms typically display higher cyclicality than workers that stay in the same firm, regardless of whether the latter move or not between job levels. Most results also hold when considering basic wages instead of total wages, except that the procyclicality of movers during downturns is substantially higher.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2929.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 54(5), 684-698, 2007
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2929
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  1. Carneiro, Anabela & Portugal, Pedro, 2007. "Workers’ Flows and Real Wage Cyclicality," IZA Discussion Papers 2604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Varejão, José & Portugal, Pedro, 2006. "Employment Dynamics and the Structure of Labor Adjustment Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 1922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Robert A. Hart & Paul J. Devereux, 2006. "Real wage cyclicality of job stayers, within-company job movers, and between-company job movers," Open Access publications 10197/314, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  4. Martins, Pedro S., 2004. "Rent Sharing Before and After the Wage Bill," IZA Discussion Papers 1376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Barlevy, Gadi, 2001. "Why Are the Wages of Job Changers So Procyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 837-78, October.
  6. Robert A. Hart, 2006. "Worker-Job Matches, Job Mobility and Real Wage Cyclicality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(290), pages 287-298, 05.
  7. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  10. Paul J. Devereux, 2001. "The cyclicality of real wages within employer-employee matches," Open Access publications 10197/312, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  11. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The cyclicality of hires, separations, and job-to-job transitions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 493-508.
  12. Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Real wage cyclicality in the PSID," Working Paper Series 2007-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  14. 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.
  15. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  16. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
  17. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  18. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
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