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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
    as

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    File URL: https://www.nbb.be/doc/oc/repec/reswpp/wp191en.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christofides, Louis N. & Nearchou, Paris, 2007. "Real and nominal wage rigidities in collective bargaining agreements," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 695-715, August.
    2. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
    4. Philip Du Caju & Erwan Gautier & Daphne Momferatu & Melanie Ward-Warmedinger, 2009. "Institutional Features of Wage Bargaining in 23 European Countries, the US and Japan," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 12(2), pages 57-108, Winter.
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    6. Campbell, Carl M, III, 1997. "The Variation in Wage Rigidity by Occupation and Union Status in the US," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(1), pages 133-147, February.
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    8. Fagan, Gabriel & Messina, Julián, 2009. "Downward wage rigidity and optimal steady-state inflation," Working Paper Series 1048, European Central Bank.
    9. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
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    11. Carl M. Campbell III & Kunal S. Kamlani, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-789.
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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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