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

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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Paper provided by NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 17/2005.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nip:nipewp:17/2005
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  2. Andrew K.G. Hildreth and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence from Company and Establishment Panels," Economics Discussion Papers 425, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
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  15. Ana Rute Cardoso, 1999. "Firms' Wage Policies and the Rise in Labor Market Inequality: The Case of Portugal," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 87-102, October.
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  18. Holzer, Harry J & Montgomery, Edward B, 1993. "Asymmetries and Rigidities in Wage Adjustments by Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 397-408, August.
  19. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  20. Gamber, Edward N, 1988. "Long-term Risk-Sharing Wage Contracts in an Economy Subject to Permanent and Temporary Shocks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-99, January.
  21. Abowd, John M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1993. "The Effects of Product Market Competition on Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Case of Foreign Competition in Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 983-1014, November.
  22. 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 665-88, August.
  23. Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. "Long-Term Wage Fluctuations with Industry-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 231-64, January.
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  25. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
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