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Pay Growth, Fairness and Job Satisfaction : Implications for Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity

  • Smith, Jennifer C

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Theories of wage rigidity often rely on a positive relationship between pay changes and utility, arising from concern for fairness or gift exchange. Supportive evidence has emerged from laboratory experiments, but the link has not yet been established with field data. This paper contributes a fist step, using representative British data. Workers care about the level and the growth of earnings. Below-median wage increases lead to an insult e¤ect except when similar workers have real wage reductions or fim production is falling. Nominal pay cuts appear insulting even when the firm is doing badly. JEL codes: J33 ; M52 ; J28 ; E24

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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 1009.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1009
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  1. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  2. Abeler, Johannes & Falk, Armin & Götte, Lorenz & Huffman, David B., 2009. "Reference Points and Effort Provision," IZA Discussion Papers 3939, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
  4. Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen Nickell, 2009. "Does Relative Income Matter? Are the Critics Right?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0918, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Alexandre Mas, 2006. "Pay, Reference Points, and Police Performance," NBER Working Papers 12202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  7. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2009. "How strong is the macroeconomic case for downward real wage rigidity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 605-615, May.
  8. Alain Cohn & Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2013. "Fair wages and effort provision: Combining evidence from the lab and the field," ECON - Working Papers 107, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Alan S. Blinder & Don H. Choi, 1989. "A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness," NBER Working Papers 3105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  11. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
  12. Sebastian Kube & Michel André Maréchal & Clemens Puppe, 2013. "Do Wage Cuts Damage Work Morale? Evidence From A Natural Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 853-870, 08.
  13. Alain Cohn & Ernst Fehr & Benedikt Herrmann & Frédéric Schneider, 2011. "Social comparison in the workplace: evidence from a field experiment," ECON - Working Papers 007, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  14. Daiji Kawaguchi & Fumio Ohtake, 2007. "Testing the Morale Theory of Nominal Wage Rigidity," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(1), pages 59-74, October.
  15. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2008. "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! Survey design and the analysis of satisfaction," Working Papers 016, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  16. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette & Christian Zehnder, 2009. "A Behavioral Account of the Labor Market: The Role of Fairness Concerns," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 355-384, 05.
  17. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2007. "Reference-Dependent Preferences and the Impact of Wage Increases on Job Satisfaction: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(2), pages 313-335, June.
  18. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  19. Holden Steinar & Wulfsberg Fredrik, 2008. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-50, April.
  20. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  21. Jonas Agell & Per Lundborg, 2003. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity and Unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 15-30, 03.
  22. Vincent P. Crawford & Juanjuan Meng, 2011. "New York City Cab Drivers' Labor Supply Revisited: Reference-Dependent Preferences with Rational-Expectations Targets for Hours and Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1912-32, August.
  23. Theodossiou, I. & Zangelidis, A., 2009. "Career prospects and tenure-job satisfaction profiles: Evidence from panel data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 648-657, August.
  24. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  25. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  26. repec:ese:iserwp:2007-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Crawford, Vincent P. & Meng, Juanjuan, 2008. "New York City Cabdrivers' Labor Supply Revisited: Reference-Dependence Preferences with Rational-Expectations Targets for Hours and Income," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt94w5n6j9, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  28. Smith, Jennifer C, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C176-95, March.
  29. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
  30. Clark, Andrew E., 1999. "Are wages habit-forming? evidence from micro data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 179-200, June.
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