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Better safe than sorry? The effects of income risk, unemployment risk and the interaction of these risks on wages


  • Wolfgang Nagl



We examine whether income and unemployment risks are compensated by individual wages. Using a portfolio approach we show that the marginal income risk effect on wages is always positive whereas the marginal unemployment risk effect crucially depends on the income risk. The interaction effect between both risk measures is negative. Using administrative panel data from Germany we confirm the theoretically predicted signs for both risks and their interaction effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang Nagl, 2013. "Better safe than sorry? The effects of income risk, unemployment risk and the interaction of these risks on wages," ERSA conference papers ersa13p237, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa13p237

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Joop Hartog & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2008. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Schooling Risk in Denmark," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 711-731, December.
    2. Smolny Werner, 2009. "Wage Adjustment, Competitiveness and Unemployment – East Germany after Unification," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(2-3), pages 130-145, April.
    3. René Fahr & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 284-316, August.
    4. Schmucker, Alexandra & Seth, Stefan, 2009. "BA-Beschäftigtenpanel 1998-2007 Codebuch," FDZ Datenreport. Documentation on Labour Market Data 200901_de, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    5. Gabriella Berloffa & Peter Simmons, 2003. "Unemployment Risk, Labour Force Participation and Savings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 521-539.
    6. Moretti, Enrico, 2000. "Do Wages Compensate for Risk of Unemployment? Parametric and Semiparametric Evidence from Seasonal Jobs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 45-66, January.
    7. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:43:i:2:p:125-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Joop Hartog & Erik Plug & Luis Diaz Serrano & Jose Vieira, 2003. "Risk compensation in wages – a replication," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 639-647, July.
    9. Moore, Michael J, 1995. "Unions, Employment Risks, and Market Provision of Employment Risk Differentials," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 57-70, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolfgang Nagl, 2014. "Lohnrisiko und Altersarmut im Sozialstaat," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 54, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J39 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Other


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