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Ladislav Wintr

21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 265
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Abstract
This paper – which takes into consideration overall experience with the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) as well as the improvements made to this measure of inflation since 2003 – finds that the HICP continues to fulfil the prerequisites for the index underlying the ECB’s definition of price stability. Nonetheless, there is scope for enhancing the HICP, especially by including owner-occupied housing (OOH) using the net acquisitions approach. Filling this long-standing gap is of utmost importance to increase the coverage and cross-country comparability of the HICP. In addition to integrating OOH into the HICP, further improvements would be welcome in harmonisation, especially regarding the treatment of product replacement and quality adjustment. Such measures may also help reduce the measurement bias that still exists in the HICP. Overall, a knowledge gap concerning the exact size of the measurement bias of the HICP remains, which calls for further research. More generally, the paper also finds that auxiliary inflation measures can play an important role in the ECB’s economic and monetary analyses. This applies not only to analytical series including OOH, but also to measures of underlying inflation or a cost of living index.
JEL Code
C43 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Index Numbers and Aggregation
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
C82 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data, Data Access
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
18 April 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2269
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Abstract
We use firm-level survey data from 25 EU countries to analyse how firms adjust their labour costs (employment, wages and hours) in response to shocks. We develop a theoretical model to understand how firms choose between different ways to adjust their labour costs. The basic intuition is that firms choose the cheapest way to adjust labour costs. Our empirical findings are in line with the theoretical model and show that the pattern of adjustment is not much affected by the type of the shock (demand shock, access-to-finance shock, ‘availability of supplies’ shock), but differs according to the direction of the shock (positive or negative), its size and persistence. In 2010-13, firms responding to negative shocks were most likely to reduce employment, then hourly wages and then hours worked, regardless of the source of the shock. Results for the 2008-09 period indicate that the ranking might change during deep recession as the likelihood of wage cuts increases. In response to positive shocks in 2010-13, firms were more likely to increase wages, followed by increases in employment and then hours worked suggesting an asymmetric reaction to positive and negative shocks. Finally, we show that strict employment protection legislation and high centralisation or coordination of wage bargaining make it less likely that firms reduce wages when facing negative shocks.
JEL Code
D21 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Theory
D22 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
Network
Wage dynamics network
29 June 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2083
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Abstract
We analyse the use of active labour market policy (ALMP) measures and short-time work arrangements (STWAs) by Luxembourg firms during the years of economic and financial crisis (2008-09) and the subsequent European sovereign debt crisis (2010-13). About 34% of Luxembourg firms used ALMPs between 2008 and 2013. Economy-wide, use of ALMPs increased along both the extensive margin (more firms) and the intensive margin (more measures per firm). The likelihood that a firm hired with recourse to ALMPs is greater for large, domestically oriented, multiple establishment firms, firms facing strong demand, with concerns about labour cost pressures and unavailability of skilled labour. The crisis saw a surge in firms using STWAs. The likelihood of applying for STWAs increases with demand volatility, the share of workers with permanent contracts, export orientation and the inability to shift workers between establishments. Firms reported that 20-25% of jobs in STWAs were saved by this measure.
JEL Code
C25 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
J63 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Turnover, Vacancies, Layoffs
J68 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Public Policy
Network
Wage dynamics network
21 April 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2048
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Abstract
This paper illustrates the main features of the Labour Module of the CompNet dataset which provides indicators of firm growth over the period 1995-2012 across 17 EU (13 euro area) countries and 9 macro-sectors. It also includes information on a large set of micro-aggregated characteristics of firms growing at different speed such as their financial position and labour and total factor productivity. The paper shows that during the Great Recession the share of shrinking firms sharply increased in countries under stress, while firm growth slowed down in non-stressed countries. In the former, the construction sector suffered the most, while in the latter manufacturing and services related to transportation and storage were mainly affected, possibly as a result of the trade collapse. While we find that, all else equal, more productive firms had a higher probability of growing, the process of productivity-enhancing reallocation was muted during the Great Recession.
JEL Code
J23 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Demand
L11 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms
L25 : Industrial Organization→Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior→Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope
Network
Competitiveness Research Network
8 August 2013
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 151
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Abstract
This report analyses and reviews the corporate finance structure of non-financial corporations (NFCs) in the euro area, including how they interact with the macroeconomic environment. Special emphasis is placed on the crisis that began in 2007-08, thus underlining the relevance of financing and credit conditions to investment and economic activity in turbulent times. When approaching such a broad topic, a number of key questions arise. How did the corporate sector
JEL Code
E0 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
1 December 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1269
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Abstract
This paper assesses the degree of downward wage rigidity in Luxembourg using an administrative monthly data set on individual wages covering the entire economy over the period from January 2001 to January 2007. After limiting for measurement error, which would otherwise bias downwards the estimates of wage rigidity, we conclude that nearly all workers in Luxembourg are potentially subject to downward real wage rigidity. Our results are robust to different procedures to adjust for measurement error and methods for estimation of downward wage rigidity. We report relatively small differences in the frequency of nominal wage cuts across occupational groups and sectors. In addition, the observed rigidity does not seem to be driven predominantly by the absence of negative shocks. We show that the real wage rigidity is related to the automatic wage indexation, while additional factors might be necessary to explain the high degree of downward wage rigidity.
JEL Code
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
Network
Wage dynamics network
16 July 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1074
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Abstract
This paper assesses the degree of wage flexibility in Luxembourg using an administrative data set on individual base wages covering the entire economy over the period 2001-2006 with monthly frequency. We find that the wage flexibility at the discretion of the firm is rather low once we limit measurement error and remove wage changes due to institutional factors (indexation, changes in statutory minimum wage, age and marital status). The so adjusted frequency of wage change lies between 5% and 7%. On average, wages change less often than consumer prices. Less than one percent of (nominal) wages are cut both from month to month and from year to year. Due to automatic wage indexation, wages appear to be subject to substantial downward real wage rigidity. Finally, wage changes tend to be highly synchronised as they are concentrated around the events of wage indexation and the month of January.
JEL Code
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
Network
Wage dynamics network
4 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1021
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Abstract
Using firm-level data for Belgium over the period 1997-2005, we evaluate the elasticity of firms' labour and real average labour compensation to microeconomic total factor productivity (TFP). Our results may be summarised as follows. First, we find that the elasticity of average labour compensation to firm-level TFP is very low contrary to that of labour, consistent with real wage rigidity. Second, while the elasticity of average labour compensation to idiosyncratic firm- level TFP is close to zero, the elasticity with respect to aggregate sector-level TFP is high. We argue that average labour compensation adjustment mainly occur at the sector level through sectoral collective bargaining, which leaves little room for firm-level adjustment to firm-specific shocks. Third, we report evidence of a positive relationship between hours and idiosyncratic TFP, as well as aggregate TFP within the year.
JEL Code
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
J60 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→General
Network
Wage dynamics network
12 February 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1006
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Abstract
This paper examines whether differences in wage rigidity across sectors can be explained by differences in workforce composition, competition, technology and wage-bargaining institutions. We adopt the measure of downward real wage rigidity (DRWR) developed by Dickens and Goette (2006) and rely on a large administrative matched employer-employee dataset for Belgium over the period 1990-2002. Firstly, our results indicate that DRWR is significantly higher for white-collar workers and lower for older workers and for workers with higher earnings and bonuses. Secondly, beyond labour force composition effects, sectoral differences in DRWR are related to competition, firm size, technology and wage bargaining institutions. We find that wages are more rigid in more competitive sectors, in labour-intensive sectors, and in sectors with predominant centralised wage setting at the sector level as opposed to firm-level wage agreements.
JEL Code
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
Network
Wage dynamics network
17 December 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 840
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Abstract
This paper evaluates the extent of downward nominal and real wage rigidity for different categories of workers and firms using the methodology recently developed by the International Wage Flexibility Project (Dickens and Goette, 2006). The analysis is based on an administrative data set on individual earnings, covering one-third of employees of the private sector in Belgium over the period 1990-2002. Our results show that Belgium is characterised by strong real wage rigidity and very low nominal wage rigidity, consistent with the Belgian wage formation system of full indexation. Real rigidity is stronger for white-collar workers than for blue-collar workers. Real rigidity decreases with age and wage level. Wage rigidity appears to be lower in firms experiencing downturns. Finally, smaller firms and firms with lower job quit rates appear to have more rigid wages. Our results are robust to alternative measures of rigidity.
JEL Code
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
Network
Wage dynamics network
27 June 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 645
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Abstract
This paper studies the behaviour of Internet prices. It compares price rigidities on the Internet and in traditional brick-and-mortar stores and provides a cross-country perspective. The data set covers a broad range of items typically sold over the Internet. It includes more than 5 million daily price quotes downloaded from price comparison web sites in France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US. The following results emerge from our analysis. First, and contrary to the recent findings for common CPI data, Internet prices in the EU countries do not change less often than online prices in the US. Second, prices on the Internet are not necessarily more flexible than prices in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Third, there is substantial heterogeneity in the frequency of price change across shop types and product categories. Fourth, the average price change on the Internet is relatively large, but smaller than the respective values reported for CPI data. Finally, panel logit estimates suggest that the likelihood of observing a price change is a function of both state- and time-dependent factors.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
L11 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network