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The incidence of nominal and real wage rigidity : An individual-based sectoral approach

Author

Listed:
  • Julián Messina

    (World Bank
    University of Girona)

  • Philip Du Caju

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Cláudia Filipa Duarte

    (Banco de Portugal)

  • Niels Lynggård Hansen

    (Danmarks Nationalbank)

  • Mario Izquierdo

    (Banco de España)

Abstract

This paper presents estimates based on individual data on downward nominal and real wage rigidities for thirteen sectors in Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Portugal. Our methodology follows the approach recently developed for the International Wage Flexibility Project, whereby resistance to nominal and real wage cuts is measured through departures of observed individual wage-change histograms from an estimated counterfactual wage-change distribution that would have prevailed in the absence of any rigidity. We evaluate the role of worker and firm characteristics in shaping wage rigidities. We also confront our estimates of wage rigidities with structural features of the labour markets studied, such as the wage bargaining level, variable pay policy and the degree of product market competition. We find that the use of firm-level collective agreements in countries with rather centralised wage formation reduces the degree of real wage rigidity. This finding suggests that some degree of decentralisation within centralised countries allows firms to adjust wages downwards, when business conditions take a turn for the worse

Suggested Citation

  • Julián Messina & Philip Du Caju & Cláudia Filipa Duarte & Niels Lynggård Hansen & Mario Izquierdo, 2010. "The incidence of nominal and real wage rigidity : An individual-based sectoral approach," Working Paper Research 191, National Bank of Belgium.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201006-30
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage rigidity; wage-bargaining institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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