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Nominal Wage Rigidity in Contract Data: A Parametric Approach

  • Louis N. Christofides
  • Man Tuen Leung

Using wage agreements reached in the Canadian unionized sector during 1976-99, a period of high as well as exceptionally low inflation, we consider how histograms of wage adjustment change as inflation reaches the low levels of the 1990s. The histograms and parametric tests suggest that wage adjustment is characterized by downward nominal rigidity and significant spikes at zero. There is some evidence of modest menu-cost effects. We examine whether the rigidity features of wage adjustment are sensitive to indexation provisions and investigate whether the distinction between short and long contracts is useful.

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Paper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 0210.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:0210
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  3. Thanasis Stengos & Louis N. Christofides, 2002. "The symmetry of the wage-change distribution: Survey and contract data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 705-723.
  4. Christofides, L.N., 1989. "The Interaction Between Indexation, Contract Duration And Non-Contengent Wage Adjustment," Working Papers 1989-13, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
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  6. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
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  9. 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.
  10. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1987. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Leif Danziger & Gee San, 1982. "Cost-of-Living Adjustment Clauses in Union Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
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  18. David E. Lebow & David J. Stockton & William L. Wascher, 1995. "Inflation, nominal wage rigidity, and the efficiency of labor markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Pierre Fortin, 1996. "The Great Canadian Slump," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 761-87, November.
  20. Christofides, Louis N, 1987. "Wage Adjustment in Contracts Containing Cost-of-Living Allowance Clauses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 531-36, August.
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  22. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2007. "The Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity," Kiel Working Papers 1343, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  23. Kaufman, Roger T & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1984. "The Effects of Expectations on Union Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 418-32, June.
  24. Farès, J. & Hogan, S., 2000. "The Employment Costs of Downward Nominal-Wage Rigidity," Working Papers 00-1, Bank of Canada.
  25. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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