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Nominal wage rigidity in Europe: estimates and institutional causes

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  • Orietta DESSY

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Abstract

In this paper we construct and compare different measures of nominal wage rigidity for the EU countries using the 1994-2000 waves of the European Community Household Panel. The observed distributions of nominal wage changes show a relevant percentage of nominal wage cuts and freezes across countries. When measurement error is taken into account in an econometric model of wage changes appropriately estimated, it explains almost the totality of wage cuts observed. Therefore the extent of nominal wage rigidity is quite high in Europe. Institutional causes of wage rigidity are investigated, finding an ''hump-shaped'' relationship between nominal wage flexibility and both employment protection legislation and coordination. On the other hand, an ''u-shaped'' impact of union coverage on measures of downward wage rigidity is found

Suggested Citation

  • Orietta DESSY, 2005. "Nominal wage rigidity in Europe: estimates and institutional causes," Departmental Working Papers 2005-09, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2005-09
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    File URL: http://wp.demm.unimi.it/files/wp/2005/DEMM-2005_009wp.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2003. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 762-781, October.
    2. Groth, Charlotta & Johansson, Asa, 2004. "Bargaining structure and nominal wage flexibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1349-1365, December.
    3. Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Wage formation under low inflation," Memorandum 09/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    4. Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
    5. Holden Steinar & Wulfsberg Fredrik, 2008. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-50, April.
    6. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
    7. Steinar Holden, 2004. "The Costs of Price Stability: Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(281), pages 183-208, May.
    8. Holden Steinar & Wulfsberg Fredrik, 2008. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-50, April.
    9. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Memorandum 08/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Franco Peracchi, 2002. "The European Community Household Panel: A review," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 63-90.
    11. Smith, Jennifer C, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 176-195, March.
    12. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barno Blaes, 2008. "Ausmaß und reale Konsequenzen nach unten starrer Nominallöhne," Working Papers 048, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    2. Fuss, Catherine & Wintr, Ladislav & Du Caju, Philip, 2007. "Downward wage rigidity for different workers and firms: an evaluation for Belgium using the IWFP procedure," Working Paper Series 840, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nominal wage rigidity; measurement error; intercountry comparison; institutions in labor markets;

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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