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The provision of wage insurance by the firm: evidence from a longitudinal matched employer-employee dataset

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We evaluate the impact of product market uncertainty on workers wages, addressing the questions: To what extent do firms provide insurance to their workforce, insulating their wages from shocks in product markets? How does the amount of insurance provided vary with firm and worker attributes? We use a longitudinal matched employer-employee dataset of remarkable quality. The empirical strategy is based on Guiso et al. (2005). We first estimate dynamic models of sales and wages to retrieve consistent estimates of shocks to firms’ sales and to workers’ earnings. We are then able to estimate the sensitivity of wages to permanent and transitory shocks to firm performance. Results point to the rejection of the full insurance hypothesis. Workers’ wages respond to permanent shocks to firm performance, whereas they are not sensitive to transitory shocks. Managers are not fully insured against transitory shocks, while they receive the same protection against permanent shocks as workers in other occupations. Firms with higher variability in their sales, and those operating in di?erent industries, o?er more insurance against permanent shocks. Comparison with Guiso et al. (2005) indicates that Portuguese firms provide less insurance than Italian firms, corroborating evidence on the high degree of wage flexibility in Portugal.

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  • Miguel Portela & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2005. "The provision of wage insurance by the firm: evidence from a longitudinal matched employer-employee dataset," NIPE Working Papers 17/2005, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  • Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:17/2005
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    Cited by:

    1. Kátay, Gábor, 2008. "Do firms provide wage insurance against shocks? Evidence from Hungary," Working Paper Series 964, European Central Bank.
    2. Emmanuel Dhyne & Jerzy Konieczny & Fabio Rumler & Patrick Sevestre, 2009. "Price rigidity in the euro area - An assessment," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 380, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    3. Fuss, Catherine & Wintr, Ladislav, 2009. "Rigid labour compensation and flexible employment? Firm-level evidence with regard to productivity for Belgium," Working Paper Series 1021, European Central Bank.
    4. Guillaume Horny & Rute Mendes & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2012. "Job Durations With Worker- and Firm-Specific Effects: MCMC Estimation With Longitudinal Employer--Employee Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 468-480, March.
    5. N. Guertzgen, 2010. "Rent-sharing and collective wage contracts-evidence from German establishment-level data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(22), pages 2835-2854.
    6. Strawczynski, Michel & Zeira, Joseph, 2009. "Cyclicality of Fiscal Policy: Permanent and Transitory Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Fuss, Catherine, 2009. "What is the most flexible component of wage bill adjustment? Evidence from Belgium," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 320-329, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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