IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Cyclical Wage Movements in Emerging Markets Compared to Developed Economies: the Role of Interest Rates

  • Nan Li

    (the Ohio State University)

Registered author(s):

This paper documents that, at the aggregate level, (i) real wages are positively correlated with output and, on average, lag output by about one quarter in emerging markets, while there are no systematic patterns in developed economies, (ii) real wage volatility (relative to output volatility) is about twice as high in emerging markets compared with developed economies, and (iii) real wage volatility, as a ratio of output volatility, decreases with the level of financial development across countries. I then present a model of contractual arrangements between workers and employers in a small open economy that helps explain this contrast. Only employers have access to financial and capital markets in the model, but they need to borrow working capital to pay for labor costs before production is carried out. The idea is that countercyclical interest rates and less developed financial markets in emerging markets make it less optimal for employers to provide workers with relatively stable wages, leading to more volatile and procyclical wages. More specifically, the total wage bill is procyclical when the financial cost of hiring labor is countercyclical. The intertemporal substitution effect of countercyclical interest rates on labor input offsets the direct effect of productivity movements, resulting in less responsive employment. Therefore, the wage is exposed to more volatility and displays more procyclicality. This is further demonstrated by calibrating the model using data from Mexico and Canada.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 438.

in new window

Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:438
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  2. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2008. "Sudden stops, sectoral reallocations, and the real exchange rate," Staff Report 414, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  4. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jose Ricardo da Costa e Silva & Ryan A. Compton, 2008. "Capital Flows and Destabilizing Policy in Latin America," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 9(3), pages 491-517.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  7. Correia, Isabel & Neves, Joao C & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 996, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Oviedo, P. Marcelo, 2005. "World Interest Rate, Business Cycles, and Financial Intermediation in Small Open Economies," Staff General Research Papers 12360, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Vivian Z. Yue & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2009. "A Solution to the Default Risk-Business Cycle Disconnect," 2009 Meeting Papers 76, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
  12. Nan Li & Ceyhun Bora Durdu & Emine Boz, 2010. "Labor Market Search in Emerging Economies," 2010 Meeting Papers 255, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Emine Boz & Christian Daude & C. Bora Durdu, 2011. "Emerging Market Business Cycles Revisited: Learning about the Trend," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1110, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  14. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Neumeyer, Pablo Andrés & Perri, Fabrizio, 2004. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: The Role of Interest Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 4482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  17. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & John B. DONALDSON, 1991. "Risk Sharing in the Business Cycle," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9109, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  19. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle Is the Trend," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 69-102.
  20. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Closing Small Open Economy Models," Departmental Working Papers 200115, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  21. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  23. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & McDermott, C John & Prasad, Eswar S, 2000. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries: Some Stylized Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 251-85, May.
  24. Javier García-Cicco & Roberto Pancrazi & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Real Business Cycles in Emerging Countries?," NBER Working Papers 12629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Smith, Katherine A. & Valderrama, Diego, 2009. "The composition of capital inflows when emerging market firms face financing constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 223-234, July.
  26. Katharine G. Abraham & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1215-1264, September.
  27. Enrique G. Mandoza & Vivian Z. Yue, 2008. "A solution to the default risk-business cycle disconnect," International Finance Discussion Papers 924, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  28. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2002. "Capital Account Liberalization, Institutions and Financial Development: Cross Country Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed008:438. 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: (Christian Zimmermann)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.