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New Evidence on the Dynamic Wage Curve for Western Germany: 1980–2004

  • Baltagi, Badi H.

    ()

    (Syracuse University)

  • Blien, Uwe

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Wolf, Katja

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

In 1994, Blanchflower and Oswald reported that they have found an ‘empirical law of economics’ – the Wage Curve. According to their empirical results, the elasticity of wages with respect to regional unemployment is -0.1. This holds especially for the Anglo-Saxon countries. Our paper reconsiders the western German Wage Curve using disaggregated regional data and is based on a random sample of 974,179 employees drawn from the employment statistics of the Federal Employment Services of Germany (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) over the period 1980-2004. We find that the wage equation is highly autoregressive but far from unit root. This means that this wage equation is not a pure Phillips curve, nor a static Wage Curve, and one should account for wage dynamics. The unemployment elasticity is significant but relatively small: only between -0.02 and -0.04. We also check the sensitivity of this wage elasticity for different population groups (young versus old, men versus women, less educated versus highly educated, German native versus foreigner). We confirm that the wage elasticity is more flexible the weaker the bargaining power of the particular group.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3433.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2009, 16 (1), 47-51
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3433
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  1. Lutz Bellmann & Uwe Blien, 2001. "Wage curve analyses of establishment data from western Germany," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 851-863, July.
  2. 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.
  3. Brian Bell & Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2000. "Wage equations, wage curves and all that," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20165, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," IZA Discussion Papers 1665, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Thiess Buettner, 1999. "The effect of unemployment, aggregate wages, and spatial contiguity on local wages: An investigation with German district level data," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 47-67.
  6. 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.
  7. Ammermüller, Andreas & Lucifora, Claudio & Origo, Federica & Zwick, Thomas, 2007. "Still Searching for the Wage Curve: Evidence from Germany and Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 2674, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Estimating a Wage Curve for Britain: 1973-90," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1025-43, September.
  9. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. Víctor M. Montuenga-Gómez & José M. Ramos-Parreño, 2005. "Reconciling the Wage Curve and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 735-765, December.
  11. Lutz Bellmann & Uwe Blien, 2001. "Wage Curve Analyses of Establishment Data from Western Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 851-863, July.
  12. André Sapir, 1995. "Introduction," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(6), pages 741-744, November.
  13. Robert J. Flanagan, 1999. "Macroeconomic Performance and Collective Bargaining: An International Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1150-1175, September.
  14. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
  15. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  16. Markus Pannenberg & Johannes Schwarze, 2000. "Wage Dynamics and Unemployment in Germany: Evidence from Regional Panel Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 14(4), pages 645-655, December.
  17. 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.
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