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Cláudia Filipa Duarte

25 June 2010
This paper presents estimates based on individual data of downward nominal and real wage rigidities for thirteen sectors in Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Portugal. Our methodology follows the approach recently developed for the International Wage Flexibility Project, whereby resistance to nominal and real wage cuts is measured through departures of observed individual wage change histograms from an estimated counter factual wage change distribution that would have prevailed in the absence of rigidity. We evaluate the role of worker and firm characteristics in shaping wage rigidities. We also confront our estimates of wage rigidities to structural features of the labour markets studied, such as the wage bargaining level, variable pay policy and the degree of product market competition. We find that the use of firm-level collective agreements in countries with rather centralized wage formation reduces the degree of real wage rigidity. This finding suggests that some degree of decentralization within highly centralized countries allows firms to adjust wages downwards, when business conditions turn bad.
JEL Code
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
Wage dynamics network
31 October 2012
Between the start of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, and early 2010, almost four million jobs were lost in the euro area. Employment began to rise again in the first half of 2011, but declined once more at the end of that year and remains at around three million workers below the pre-crisis level. However, in comparison with the severity of the fall in GDP, employment adjustment has been relatively muted at the aggregate euro area level, mostly due to significant labour hoarding in several euro area countries. While the crisis has, so far, had a more limited or shorter-lived impact in some euro area countries, in others dramatic changes in employment and unemployment rates have been observed and, indeed, more recent data tend to show the effects of a re-intensification of the crisis. The main objectives of this report are: (a) to understand the notable heterogeneity in the adjustment observed across euro area labour markets, ascertaining the role of the various shocks, labour market institutions and policy responses in shaping countries
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics