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Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity

Author

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  • Anabela Carneiro
  • Paulo Guimarães
  • Pedro Portugal

Abstract

Using a longitudinal matched employer-employee data set for Portugal over the 1986-2005 period, this study analyzes the heterogeneity in wages responses to aggregate labor market conditions for newly hired workers and existing workers. Accounting for both worker and firm heterogeneity, the data support the hypothesis that entry wages are much more procyclical than current wages. A one-point increase in the unemployment rate decreases wages of newly hired male workers by around 2.8% and by just 1.4% for workers in continuing jobs. Since we estimate the fixed effects, we were able to show that unobserved heterogeneity plays a non-trivial role in the cyclicality of wages. In particular, worker fixed effects of new hires and separating workers behave countercyclically, whereas firm fixed effects exhibit a procyclical pattern. Finally, the results reveal, for all workers, a wage-productivity elasticity of 1.2, slightly above the one-for-one response predicted by the Mortensen-Pissarides model.

Suggested Citation

  • Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," Working Papers w200910, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w200910
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Du Caju & Catherine Fuss & Ladislav Wintr, 2012. "Downward Wage Regidity for Different Workers and Firms," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 55(1), pages 5-32.
    2. Anger, Silke, 2011. "The cyclicality of effective wages within employer–employee matches in a rigid labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 786-797.
    3. Addison, John & Ozturk, Orgul & Wang, Si, 2013. "Job promotion in mid-career: gender, recession and ‘crowding’," MPRA Paper 51390, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. G. de Walque & M. Druant & Ph. Du Caju & C. Fuss, 2010. "Lessons of the Wage Dynamics Network," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue i, pages 55-75, June.
    5. Petra Marotzke & Robert Anderton & Ana Bairrao & Clémence Berson & Peter Tóth, 2016. "Wage adjustment and employment in Europe," Discussion Papers 2016-19, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    6. Guimaraes, Paulo & Portugal, Pedro, 2009. "A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 3935, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Martins, Pedro S. & Opromolla, Luca David, 2009. "Exports, Imports and Wages: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker-Product Panels," IZA Discussion Papers 4646, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Mário Centeno & Álvaro A. Novo, 2012. "Segmentation," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    9. González de San Román, Ainara & Rebollo-Sanz, Yolanda F., 2014. "An estimation of worker and firm effects with censored data," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-28, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    10. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David, 2014. "Managers' mobility, trade performance, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 85-101.
    11. Martins, Pedro S. & Opromolla, Luca David, 2011. "Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels," IZA Discussion Papers 6013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Galí, Jordi, 2010. "Monetary Policy and Unemployment," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 10, pages 487-546 Elsevier.
    13. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro & Vilares, Hugo, 2015. "Unions and Collective Bargaining in the Wake of the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 8943, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Emmanuel Saez & Pascal Michaillat, 2013. "A Theory of Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand as Functions of Market Tightness with Prices as Parameters," 2013 Meeting Papers 1216, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Kilponen, Juha & Vanhala, Juuso, 2009. "Productivity and job flows : heterogeneity of new hires and continuing jobs in the business cycle," Research Discussion Papers 15/2009, Bank of Finland.
    16. Pedro S. Martins & Gary Solon & Jonathan Thomas, 2010. "Measuring What Employers Really Do about Entry Wages over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Maritza López-Novella & Salimata Sissoko, 2009. "Working Paper 12-09 - Salaires et négociation collective en Belgique : une analyse microéconomique en panel," Working Papers 0912, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    18. Stüber, Heiko, 2012. "Are real entry wages rigid over the business cycle? : Empirical evidence for Germany from 1977 to 2009," IAB Discussion Paper 201206, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    19. Yolanda F. Rebollo-Sanz, 2017. "Decomposing the structure of wages into firm and worker effects: some insights from a high unemployment economy," Working Papers 17.10, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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