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Sectoral Differences in Wage Freezes and Wage Cuts: Evidence from a new Firm Survey

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  • Radowski, Daniel
  • Bonin, Holger

Abstract

The paper provides evidence concerning incidence and sources of nominal wage rigidity in services and manufacturing, using a new and large employer survey on wage and price setting behaviour for Germany. We observe that wage freezes are more frequent in services than in manufacturing, whereas wage cuts are less frequent. The significant sector gaps do not vanish after controlling for relevant firm characteristics influencing the incidence of wage freezes and wage cuts, notably coverage by collective agreements and the degree of price competition on the product market. An analysis of firms' view on the reasons preventing wage cuts suggests that specific fear of excess worker turnover could explain distinct wage setting behaviour in services.

Suggested Citation

  • Radowski, Daniel & Bonin, Holger, 2008. "Sectoral Differences in Wage Freezes and Wage Cuts: Evidence from a new Firm Survey," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-097, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7471
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/27579/1/dp08097.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
    2. Thomas Bauer & Holger Bonin & Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Micro Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 508-529, November.
    3. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    4. Christoph Knoppik & Thomas Beissinger, 2009. "Downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe: an analysis of European micro data from the ECHP 1994–2001," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 321-338, May.
    5. Lucifora, Claudio, 1998. "The impact of unions on labour turnover in Italy:: Evidence from establishment level data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 353-376, May.
    6. Carl M. Campbell III & Kunal S. Kamlani, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-789.
    7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 1144-1175, September.
    8. Wolfgang Franz & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2006. "Reasons for Wage Rigidity in Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(2), pages 255-284, June.
    9. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    10. Agell, Jonas & Bennmarker, Helge, 2007. "Wage incentives and wage rigidity: A representative view from within," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 347-369, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dias, Daniel A. & Marques, Carlos Robalo & Martins, Fernando, 2013. "Wage rigidity and employment adjustment at the firm level: Evidence from survey data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 40-49.
    2. Fernando Martins, 2015. "What Survey Data Reveal about Price and Wage Rigidity in Portugal," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(3), pages 291-309, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nominal Wage Rigidity; Efficiency Wages; Manufacturing and Services; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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