IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pst/wpaper/219.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Micro-level evidence on wage rigidities in Finland

Author

Listed:
  • Petri Böckerman

    (Palkansaajien tutkimuslaitos)

  • Seppo Laaksonen
  • Jari Vainiomäki

Abstract

This paper analyses the flexibility of the Finnish labour markets from the microeconomic perspective by focusing on individual-level wage changes for job stayers. The study covers the private sector workers by using three separate data sets obtained from payroll records of employers’ associations. Two main conclusions from wage formation emerge. First, there has been macroeconomic flexibility in the labour market. Real wage rigidity declined during the early 1990’s recession and a large proportion of workers experienced real wage cuts. We also find that average wage changes respond negatively to an increase in unemployment. Second,the evidence based on individual-level wage change distributions show that especially real wages are definitely rigid in Finland in international comparison. In addition, the evidence points out that individual-level wage changes have regained the high levels of real rigidity during the late 1990s that prevailed in the 1980s, despite the continued high (but declining)level of unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Petri Böckerman & Seppo Laaksonen & Jari Vainiomäki, 2006. "Micro-level evidence on wage rigidities in Finland," Working Papers 219, Työn ja talouden tutkimus LABORE, The Labour Institute for Economic Research LABORE.
  • Handle: RePEc:pst:wpaper:219
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://labore.fi/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/sel219.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Jonas Agell & Per Lundborg, 2003. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity and Unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 15-30, March.
    3. Tuomas Pekkarinen, 2001. "The wage curve : evidence from the Finnish metal industry panel data," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 51-60, Spring.
    4. Piekkola, Hannu, . "Human Capital and Wage Formation," ETLA B, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, number 177.
    5. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1999. "The causes and consequences of longterm unemployment in Europe," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 3085-3139, Elsevier.
    6. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, November.
    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999. "The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Roope Uusitalo, 2002. "Changes in the Finnish Wage Structure: Will Demand and Supply Do?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 69-85, March.
    9. Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Wage formation under low inflation," Memorandum 09/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Kahn, Shulamit, 1997. "Evidence of Nominal Wage Stickiness from Microdata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 993-1008, December.
    11. Roope Uusitalo & Juhana Vartiainen, 2009. "Finland: Firm Factors in Wages and Wage Changes," NBER Chapters, in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 149-178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Jaakko Pehkonen, 1999. "Wage formation in Finland, 1960-1994," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 82-91, Autumn.
    13. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
    14. 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.
    15. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2003. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 762-781, October.
    16. Smith, Jennifer C, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 176-195, March.
    17. 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.
    18. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    19. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084, Elsevier.
    20. George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2000. "Near-Rational Wage and Price Setting and the Long-Run Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 1-60.
    21. Seppo Honkapohja & Erkki Koskela, 1999. "The economic crisis of the 1990s in Finland," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(29), pages 400-436.
    22. Agell, Jonas & Bennmarker, Helge, 2002. "Wage policy and endogenous wage rigidity: a representative view from the inside," Working Paper Series 2002:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    23. Hibbs, Douglas A, Jr & Locking, Hakan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 755-782, October.
    24. Ilmakunnas, Pekka & Maliranta, Mika, 2001. "The Turnover of Jobs and Workers in a Deep Recession: Evidence from the Finnish Business Sector," Discussion Papers 747, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    25. Roope Uusitalo, 2005. "Do Centralized Bargains Lead to Wage Moderation? Time-Series Evidence from Finland," Springer Books, in: Hannu Piekkola & Kenneth Snellman (ed.), Collective Bargaining and Wage Formation, pages 121-132, Springer.
    26. Bewley, Truman F., 1998. "Why not cut pay?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 459-490, May.
    27. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in Canadian Collective Bargaining Agreements," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 429-448, April.
    28. Maliranta, Mika, 2002. "Factor Income Shares and Micro-Level Restructuring. An Analysis of Finnish Manufacturing," Discussion Papers 796, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    29. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.
    30. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," NBER Working Papers 11338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Jaakko Pehkonen & Hannu Tanninen, 1997. "Institutions, Incentives and Trade Union Membership," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 11(3), pages 579-598, November.
    32. Jaakko Kiander & Pentti Vartia, 1996. "The great depression of the 1990s in Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 72-88, Spring.
    33. Erkki Koskela & Roope Uusitalo, 2003. "The Un-Intended Convergence: How the Finnish Unemployment Reached the European Level," CESifo Working Paper Series 878, CESifo.
    34. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3, December.
    35. Faggio, Guilia & Nickell, Stephen, 2005. "The responsiveness of wages to labour market conditions in the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 685-696, October.
    36. Petri Böckerman & Seppo Laaksonen & Jari Vainiomäki, 2007. "Who bears the burden of wage cuts? Evidence from Finland during the 1990s," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 100-121, May.
    37. Anni Heikkilä & Hannu Piekkola, 2005. "Explaining the Desire for Local Bargaining: Evidence from a Finnish Survey of Employers and Employees," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(2), pages 399-423, June.
    38. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
    39. Petri Böckerman & Roope Uusitalo, 2006. "Erosion of the Ghent System and Union Membership Decline: Lessons from Finland," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 283-303, June.
    40. Steinar Holden, 2002. "The Costs of Price Stability - Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," NBER Working Papers 8865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, June.
    42. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "The Costs and Benefits of Price Stability," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld99-1, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar, 2012. "The Finnish Great Depression: From Russia with Love," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1619-1644, June.
    2. Böckerman, Petri & Laaksonen, Seppo & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2009. "Micro-level Rigidity vs. Macro-level Flexibility: Lessons from Finland," MPRA Paper 15061, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Petri Böckerman & Seppo Laaksonen & Jari Vainiomäki, 2010. "Micro and Macro Level Wage Rigidity: Lessons from Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 27-42, Spring.
    4. Strawczynski, Michel & Zeira, Joseph, 2009. "Cyclicality of Fiscal Policy: Permanent and Transitory Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Salem M. Abo-Zaid, 2010. "Sticky Wages, Incomplete Pass-Through and Inflation Targeting: What is the Right Index to Target?," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 53(1), pages 28-58.
    6. Kauhanen, Antti & Maliranta, Mika, 2012. "Micro-components of aggregate wage dynamics," ETLA Working Papers 1, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Thomas Beissinger & Chritoph Knoppik, 2005. "Sind Nominallöhne starr? Neuere Evidenz und wirtschaftspolitische Implikationen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 171-188, May.
    2. Francesco Devicienti, 2002. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Italy: Evidence and Consequences," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 20, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    3. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," Working Paper 2004/5, Norges Bank.
    4. Barno Blaes, 2008. "Ausmaß und reale Konsequenzen nach unten starrer Nominallöhne," Working Papers 048, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    5. Pierre Fortin & George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2002. "Inflation and Unemployment in the U.S. and Canada: A Common Framework," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 20-16, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    6. Beissinger Thomas & Knoppik Christoph, 2001. "Downward Nominal Rigidity in West German Earnings, 1975-95," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 2(4), pages 385-417, December.
    7. Dany Brouillette & Olena Kostyshyna & Natalia Kyui, 2018. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Canada: Evidence from micro-level data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 51(3), pages 968-1002, August.
    8. Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Wage formation under low inflation," Memorandum 09/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    9. Orietta DESSY, 2004. "Nominal wage flexibility and institutions: preliminary micro-evidence from the Europanel," Departmental Working Papers 2004-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    10. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in Canadian Collective Bargaining Agreements," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 429-448, April.
    11. Daniel Schäfer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Nominal Wage Adjustments and the Composition of Pay: New Evidence from Payroll Data," Economics working papers 2020-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    12. Elsby, Michael W.L., 2009. "Evaluating the economic significance of downward nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 154-169, March.
    13. Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2007. "Downward wage rigidity for different workers and firms : an evaluation for Belgium using the IWFP procedure," Working Paper Research 124, National Bank of Belgium.
    14. Louis Christofides & Thanasis Stengos, 2001. "Nominal Wage Rigidity: Non-Parametric Tests Based on Union Data for Canada," CESifo Working Paper Series 535, CESifo.
    15. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie Ward, 2006. "The interaction of labor markets and inflation: analysis of micro data from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    16. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    17. Smith, Jennifer C., 2002. "Pay Cuts And Morale : A Test Of Downward Nominal Rigidity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 649, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    18. Thomas Bauer & Holger Bonin & Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Micro Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 508-529, November.
    19. Ahrens, Steffen & Pirschel, Inske & Snower, Dennis J., 2014. "A theory of wage adjustment under loss aversion," Kiel Working Papers 1977, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pst:wpaper:219. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/laborfi.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Jaana Toivainen (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/laborfi.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.