IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Wage Flexibility and Contract Structure in Germany

Listed author(s):
  • VILHUBERT, Lars
Registered author(s):

    In this paper, we look at how labor market conditions at different points during the tenure of individuals with firms are correlated with current earnings. Using data on individuals from the German Socioeconomic Panel for the 1985-1994 period, we find that both the contemporaneous unemployment rate and prior values of the unemployment rate are significantly correlated with current earnings, contrary to results for the American labor market. Estimated elasticities vary between 9 and 15 percent for the elasticity of earnings with respect to current unemployment rates, and between 6 and 10 percent with respect to unemployment rates at the start of current firm tenure. Moreover, whereas local unemployment rates determine levels of earnings, national rates influence contemporaneous variations in earnings. We interpret this result as evidence that German unions do, in fact, bargain over wages and employment, but that models of individualistic contracts, such as the implicit contract model, may explain some of the observed wage drift and longer-term wage movements reasonably well. Furthermore, we explore the heterogeneity of contracts over a variety of worker and job characteristics. In particular, we find evidence that contracts differ across firm size and worker type. Workers of large firms are remarkably more insulated from the job market than workers for any other type of firm, indicating the importance of internal job markets.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/472
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 9905.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 39 pages
    Date of creation: 1999
    Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:9905
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    CP 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7

    Phone: (514) 343-6540
    Fax: (514) 343-5831
    Web page: http://www.sceco.umontreal.ca

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 351-380, October.
    2. Groot Wim & Mekkelholt Eddie & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1992. "Further evidence on the wage curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 355-359, March.
    3. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-480, March.
    4. Carruth, Alan & Schnabel, Claus, 1993. " The Determination of Contract Wages in West Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(3), pages 297-310.
    5. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    6. Jérôme Gautié & David Margolis, 2009. "Introduction," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 429(1), pages 3-19.
    7. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    8. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
    9. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1999. "The Entry And Exit Of Workers And The Growth Of Employment: An Analysis Of French Establishments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 170-187, May.
    10. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-799, July.
    11. Pannenberg, Markus & Schwarze, Johannes, 1998. "Labor market slack and the wage curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 351-354, March.
    12. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-176, February.
    13. Lang, Kevin & Kahn, Shulamit, 1990. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment: A Second View," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(2), pages 296-306, April.
    14. 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 665-688, August.
    15. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-837, September.
    16. Manning, Alan, 1987. "An Integration of Trade Union Models in a Sequential Bargaining Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 121-139, March.
    17. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    18. David Soskice, 1994. "Reconciling Markets and Institutions: The German Apprenticeship System," NBER Chapters,in: Training and the Private Sector: International Comparisons, pages 25-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    20. Milton Harris & Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 315-333.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:9905. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sharon BREWER)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.