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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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  1. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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  12. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Insurance within the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1054-1087, October.
  15. 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.
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  17. Nickell, S. & Wadhwani, S., 1989. "Insider Forces And Wage Determination," Economics Series Working Papers 9972, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Paul J. Devereux, 2005. "Do Employers Provide Insurance against Low Frequency Shocks? Industry Employment and Industry Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 313-340, April.
  19. 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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  22. John Shea, 1996. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," NBER Technical Working Papers 0193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Altonji, Joseph G & Segal, Lewis M, 1996. "Small-Sample Bias in GMM Estimation of Covariance Structures," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 353-66, July.
  24. Weiss, Yoram, 1984. "Wage Contracts When Output Grows Stochastically: The Roles of Mobility Costs and Capital Market Imperfections," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 155-73, April.
  25. 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.
  26. 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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