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Wage Mobility and Dynamics in Italy in the 90's


  • Bruno Contini
  • Roberto Leombruni
  • Lia Pacelli
  • Claudia Villosio


Inspite of the centralized nature of wage bargaining in Italy, we find some evidence suggesting the existence of firm-wage policies. Firstly, the ratio of the between-firm wage variability relative to total wage variability is sizeable, and not very dissimilar from that reported for other countries. Secondly, the tide raising all boats is quite suggestive: not only do individual wages throughout the whole distribution increase as average firm wages increases, but the spread increases too. Firm wage policy matters in shaping not only the wage level distribution but also the wage change distribution. The within-firm s.d. of wage change is almost as high as that of individual wage change, and much higher than between-firm variability of average change in wages. Worker-based statistics, on the other side, show that relative changes in individual wages follow the business cycle, although different parts of the distribution react in a different way to it, the upper tail having a higher responsiveness. Both facts are at odds with the often reported rigidity of Italian wages. Indeed, the detected flexibility is mainly driven by movers and short tenure workers. The cross-country comparison suggests that the relatively high degree of wage compression in Italy could be associated with higher entry and exit rates.

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  • Bruno Contini & Roberto Leombruni & Lia Pacelli & Claudia Villosio, 2007. "Wage Mobility and Dynamics in Italy in the 90's," NBER Working Papers 13029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13029
    Note: LS

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrea Brandolini & Piero Casadio & Piero Cipollone & Marco Magnani & Alfonso Rosolia, 2007. "Employment Growth in Italy in the 1990s: Institutional Arrangements and Market Forces," AIEL Series in Labour Economics,in: Nicola Acocella & Riccardo Leoni (ed.), Social Pacts, Employment and Growth. A Reappraisal of Ezio Tarantelli’s Thought, edition 1, chapter 4, pages 31-68 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
    2. Erich Battistin & Enrico Rettore & Ugo Trivellato, 2005. "Choosing among alternative classification criteria to measure the labour force state," IFS Working Papers W05/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Bruno Contini & Claudia Villosio, 2003. "Worker Mobility, Job Displacement and Wage Dynamics: Italy 1985-91," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 24, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    4. Francesco Devicienti & Agata Maida & Paolo Sestito, 2003. "Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity: An Assessment Using Italian Microdata," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 33, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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