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The Cyclicality of Effective Wages within Employer-Employee Matches in a Rigid Labor Market

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  • Anger, Silke

    () (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

Abstract

This study analyzes real wage cyclicality for male full-time workers within employer-employee matches in Germany over the period 1984-2004. Five different wage measures are compared: the standard hourly wage rate; hourly wage earnings including overtime and bonus pay; the effective wage, which takes into account unpaid overtime; and monthly earnings, with and without additional pay. None of the hourly wage measures exhibits cyclicality except for the group of salaried workers with unpaid overtime. Their effective wages show a strongly procyclical reaction to changes in unemployment. Despite acyclical wage rates, salaried workers without unpaid overtime experienced procyclical earnings movements if they had income from extra pay. Monthly earnings were also procyclical for hourly paid workers with overtime pay. These findings suggest that cyclical earnings movements are generated by variable pay components, such as bonuses and overtime, and by flexible working hours. The degree of earnings procyclicality revealed for the German labor market is comparable to the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Anger, Silke, 2011. "The Cyclicality of Effective Wages within Employer-Employee Matches in a Rigid Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5489
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    Cited by:

    1. Peng, Fei & Anwar, Sajid & Kang, Lili, 2017. "New technology and old institutions: An empirical analysis of the skill-biased demand for older workers in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-19.
    2. Boris Hirsch & Thomas Zwick, 2015. "How Selective Are Real Wage Cuts? A Micro-analysis Using Linked Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(4), pages 327-347, December.
    3. Verdugo, Gregory, 2016. "Real wage cyclicality in the Eurozone before and during the Great Recession: Evidence from micro data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 46-69.
    4. Anderton, Robert & Maria, José R. & Karšay, Alexander & Szörfi, Béla & Périnet, Mathilde & Petroulas, Pavlos & Beck Nelleman, Peter & Conefrey, Thomas & Veiga, Cindy & Zizza, Roberta & Verdugo, Gregor, 2015. "Comparisons and contrasts of the impact of the crisis on euro area labour markets," Occasional Paper Series 159, European Central Bank.
    5. Grace Weishi Gu & Eswar Prasad, 2018. "New Evidence on Cyclical Variation in Labor Costs in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 24266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Stüber, Heiko & Snell, Andy, 2014. "Downward Real Wage Rigidity and Equal Treatment Wage Contracts: Evidence from Germany," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100601, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Ueno, Yuko, 2014. "Size-specific Effects in Job Reallocation and Worker Mobility: Japan’s Experience from the 1990s," CIS Discussion paper series 624, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim & Mark Bils, 2013. "How Sticky Wages in Existing Jobs can affect Hiring," 2013 Meeting Papers 1162, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Balazs Reizer, 2016. "Do Firms Pay Bonuses to Protect Jobs?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1612, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    10. Christian Pfeifer, 2015. "Effective working hours and wages: the case of downward adjustment via paid absenteeism," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 612-626.
    11. Kang, Lili & Peng, Fei, 2012. "Selection and Real wage cyclicality: Germany Case," MPRA Paper 42452, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bonus payments; unpaid overtime; effective wages; real wage cyclicality; firm stayers;

    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

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