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

Cyclical Wage Movements in Emerging Markets Compared to Developed Economies: A Contractual Approach

  • Nan Li


    (Stanford 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 in cyclical wage movements between emerging markets and developed economies. 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. This is further demonstrated by calibrating the model using data from Mexico and the U.S. to represent emerging and developed economies respectively.

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 Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 06-026.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:06-026
Contact details of provider: Postal: 366 Galvez Street, Stanford, California 94305-6015
Phone: (650) 725-1874
Fax: (650) 723-8611
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. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Closing Small Open Economy Models," Departmental Working Papers 200115, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  2. Martin Uribe & Vivian Z. Yue, 2004. "Country spreads and emerging countries: who drives whom?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  3. 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.
  4. Pablo Andres Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 1999. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: the role of interest rates," Department of Economics Working Papers 014, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  5. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," Departmental Working Papers 200106, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  6. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
  7. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. 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.
  9. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela & Vegh, Carlos, 2004. "When it rains, it pours: Procyclical capital flows and macroeconomic policies," MPRA Paper 13883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Christian Sigouin, 2000. "Self-enforcing Employment Contracts and Business Cycle Fluctuations," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 127, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  11. Correia, I. & Rabelo, S. & Naves, J.C., 1994. "Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," RCER Working Papers 382, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1992. "Liquidity effects, monetary policy and the business cycle," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Anticipated and Unanticipated Wage Changes, Wage Risk, and Intertemporal Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 3628, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. C. John McDermott & Eswar Prasad & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1999. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries: Some Stylized Facts," IMF Working Papers 99/35, International Monetary Fund.
  17. 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.
  18. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  19. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
  20. Ricardo J.Caballero, 2001. "Macroeconomic volatility in Latin America: a view and three case studies," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 28(1 Year 20), pages 5-52, June.
  21. 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.
  22. Katherine A. Smith & Diego Valderrama, 2007. "The composition of capital inflows when emerging market firms face financing constraints," Working Paper Series 2007-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  23. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  24. Gomme, Paul & Greenwood, Jeremy, 1995. "On the cyclical allocation of risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 91-124.
  25. Boldrin, Michael & Horvath, Michael, 1995. "Labor Contracts and Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 972-1004, October.
  26. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Ben Malin, 2006. "Lower-Frequency Macroeconomic Fluctuations: Living Standards and Leisure," 2006 Meeting Papers 752, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  32. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
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:sip:dpaper:06-026. 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: (Anne Shor)

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.