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Do Firms ProvideWage Insurance Against Shocks? – Evidence from Hungary

  • Gábor Kátay

    ()

    (Magyar Nemzeti Bank)

In this paper I address the question to what extent wages are affected by product market uncertainty. Implicit contract models imply that it is Pareto optimal for risk neutral firms to provide insurance to risk averse workers against shocks. Using matched employer-employee dataset, I adopted the estimation strategy proposed by Guiso et al. (2005) to evaluate wage responses to both permanent and transitory shocks in Hungary and compared my results to similar studies on Italian and Portuguese datasets. I found that firms do insure workers against product market uncertainties, but the magnitude of the wage response differs depending on the nature of the shock. Broadly speaking, the wage response to permanent shocks is twice as high as the response to transitory shocks. Comparing my results to the two other studies, the main difference lies in the elasticity of wages to transitory shocks. Unlike these previous findings, my results show that full insurance to transitory shocks is rejected.

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File URL: http://english.mnb.hu/Root/Dokumentumtar/ENMNB/Kiadvanyok/mnben_mnbfuzetek/WP_2008_8.pdf
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Paper provided by Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary) in its series MNB Working Papers with number 2008/8.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mnb:wpaper:2008/8
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mnb.hu/

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  1. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Insurance within the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1054-1087, October.
  2. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Portela, Miguel, 2005. "The Provision of Wage Insurance by the Firm: Evidence from a Longitudinal Matched Employer-Employee Dataset," IZA Discussion Papers 1865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Harris, Milton & Holstrom, Bengt, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 315-33, July.
  5. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Weiss, Yoram, 1984. "Wage Contracts When Output Grows Stochastically: The Roles of Mobility Costs and Capital Market Imperfections," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 155-73, April.
  7. Ichino, Andrea, 1994. "Flexible labor compensation, risk sharing and company leverage," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1411-1421, August.
  8. Gamber, Edward N, 1988. "Long-term Risk-Sharing Wage Contracts in an Economy Subject to Permanent and Temporary Shocks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-99, January.
  9. Darren Grant, 2003. "The effect of implicit contracts on the movement of wages over the business cycle: Evidence from the national longitudinal surveys," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 393-408, April.
  10. Gábor Kátay & Zoltán Wolf, 2008. "Driving Factors of Growth in Hungary - a Decomposition Exercise," MNB Working Papers 2008/6, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
  11. Paul J. Devereux, 2005. "Do Employers Provide Insurance against Low Frequency Shocks? Industry Employment and Industry Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 313-340, April.
  12. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
  13. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  14. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  15. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1981. "Contractual Models of the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 308-13, May.
  16. Gábor Kátay & Zoltán Wolf, 2004. "Investment Behavior, User Cost and Monetary Policy Transmission - the Case of Hungary," MNB Working Papers 2004/12, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
  17. 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.
  18. Gordon, Donald F, 1974. "A Neo-Classical Theory of Keynesian Unemployment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(4), pages 431-59, December.
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