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Does Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity Dampen Wage Increases?

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  • Stüber, Heiko

    (Hochschule der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (HdBA))

  • Beissinger, Thomas

    (University of Hohenheim)

Abstract

Focusing on the compression of wage cuts, many empirical studies find a high degree of downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR). However, the resulting macroeconomic effects seem to be surprisingly weak. This contradiction can be explained within an intertemporal framework in which DNWR not only prevents nominal wage cuts but also induces firms to compress wage increases. We analyze whether a compression of wage increases occurs when DNWR is binding by applying Unconditional Quantile Regression and Seemingly Unrelated Regression to a data set comprising more than 169 million wage changes. We find evidence for a compression of wage increases and only very small effects of DNWR on average real wage growth. The results indicate that DNWR does not provide a strong argument against low inflation targets.

Suggested Citation

  • Stüber, Heiko & Beissinger, Thomas, 2010. "Does Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity Dampen Wage Increases?," IZA Discussion Papers 5126, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5126
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage stickiness; wage compression; downward nominal wage rigidity; unconditional quantile regression;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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