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Tairi Rõõm

12 November 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1106
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Abstract
Firms have multiple options at the time of adjusting their wage bills. However, previous literature has mainly focused on base wages. We broaden the analysis beyond downward rigidity in base wages by investigating the use of other margins of labour cost adjustment at the firm level. Using data from a unique survey, we find that firms make frequent use of other, more flexible, components of compensation to adjust the cost of labour. Changes in bonuses and non-pay benefits are some of the potential margins firms use to reduce costs. We also show how the margins of adjustment chosen are affected by firm and worker characteristics.
JEL Code
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
C81 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data, Data Access
P5 : Economic Systems→Comparative Economic Systems
Network
Wage dynamics network
12 November 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1105
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Abstract
It has been well established that the wages of individual workers react little, especially downwards, to shocks that hit their employer. This paper presents new evidence from a unique survey of firms across Europe on the prevalence of downward wage rigidity in both real and nominal terms. We analyse which firm-level and institutional factors are associated with wage rigidity. Our results indicate that it is related to workforce composition at the establishment level in a manner that is consistent with related theoretical models (e.g. efficiency wage theory, insider-outsider theory). We also find that wage rigidity depends on the labour market institutional environment. Collective bargaining coverage is positively related with downward real wage rigidity, measured on the basis of wage indexation. Downward nominal wage rigidity is positively associated with the extent of permanent contracts and this effect is stronger in countries with stricter employment protection regulations.
JEL Code
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
J32 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits, Retirement Plans, Private Pensions
C81 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data, Data Access
P5 : Economic Systems→Comparative Economic Systems
Network
Wage dynamics network
16 May 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1340
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Abstract
The time series of various economic variables often exhibit asymmetry: decreases in the values tend to be sharp and fast, whereas increases usually occur slowly and gradually. We detect signs of an analogous asymmetry in firms' wage setting behaviour on the basis of managerial surveys, with employers tending to react faster to negative than to positive shocks in the same variables. As well as describing the presence of asymmetry in the speed of wage adjustment, we investigate which companies are more likely to demonstrate it in their behaviour. For this purpose, we apply the Heckman selection model and develop a methodology that improves identification by exploiting heteroscedasticity in the selection equation. The estimation results imply that companies operating in a more competitive environment have a higher propensity to react asymmetrically. We also find that businesses relying on labour-intensive production technology are more likely to react faster to negative shocks. Both of these findings support the hypothesis that this behaviour results from companies' attempts to protect profit margins.
JEL Code
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
J33 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Compensation Packages, Payment Methods
Network
Wage dynamics network
4 August 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1704
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Abstract
This paper analyses differences in employment volatility in foreign-owned and domestic companies using firm-level data from 24 European countries. The presence of foreign-owned companies may lead to higher employment volatility because subsidiaries of multinational companies react more sensitively to changes in labour demand in host countries or because they are more exposed to external shocks. We assess the conditional employment volatility of firms with foreign and domestic owners using propensity score matching and find that it is higher in foreign-owned firms in about half of the countries that our study covers. In addition, we explore how and why labour demand elasticity differs between these two groups of companies. Our estimations indicate that labour demand can be either more or less elastic in subsidiaries of foreign-owned multinationals than in domestic enterprises, depending on the institutional environments of their home and host countries.
JEL Code
F23 : International Economics→International Factor Movements and International Business→Multinational Firms, International Business
J23 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Demand
J51 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Labor?Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining→Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
Network
Competitiveness Research Network
12 September 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1732
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Abstract
This paper studies euro changeover-related inflation using disaggregated price level data. The difference-in-differences approach is used and the control group for the treatment country, Estonia, is built from 12 euro area countries. The Nielsen Company disaggregated price data are employed at product, brand and shop-type level. The results indicate that while the overall inflationary effect of euro adoption was modest, the effects were significantly different across various market segments. Changeover-related inflation was higher for products that were relatively cheaper than the euro area average. Inflationary effects were stronger in smaller shops.
JEL Code
D49 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→Other
P46 : Economic Systems→Other Economic Systems→Consumer Economics, Health, Education and Training, Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
7 April 2015
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1778
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Abstract
This paper exploits a unique cross-country, firm-level survey to study the responses of European firms to the sharp demand and credit contraction triggered by the global Great Recession of 2009. The analysis reveals that cost reduction
JEL Code
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
J32 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits, Retirement Plans, Private Pensions
J33 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Compensation Packages, Payment Methods
J51 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Labor?Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining→Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
23 June 2017
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 192
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Abstract
Against the backdrop of continuing adjustment in EU labour markets in response to the Great Recession and the sovereign debt crisis, the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) conducted the third wave of the Wage Dynamics Network (WDN) survey in 2014-15 as a follow-up to the two previous WDN waves carried out in 2007 and 2009. The WDN survey collected information on wage-setting practices at the firm level. This third wave sampled about 25,000 firms in 25 European countries with the aim of assessing how firms adjusted wages and employment in response to the various shocks and labour market reforms that took place in the European Union (EU) during the period 2010-13. This paper summarises the main results of WDN3 by identifying some patterns in firms’ adjustments and labour market reforms. It seeks to lay out the main lessons learnt from the survey in terms of both the general response of EU labour markets to the crisis and how these responses varied across the countries that took part in the survey.
JEL Code
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
J52 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Labor?Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining→Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation, Collective Bargaining
J68 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Public Policy
Network
Wage dynamics network
19 June 2018
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2159
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Abstract
This paper studies the recent trends in nominal wage rigidity in a large group of EU countries, using survey data. We analyse two forms of nominal wage rigidity: downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) and the lagged response of wages to shocks. The frequency of wage changes, which is an indicator of lagged wage setting, slowed down in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We assess the possible reasons for this and show that it was at least partially caused by a combination of a decline in average wage growth and persistent DNWR. In countries where wage growth slowed down more after the Great Recession, the frequency of wage changes declined more steeply as well. Our data allows evaluating the prevalence of DNWR in diverse economic circumstances. Like earlier research on this topic, we find that DNWR tends to be strongly prevalent, even in periods of slow economic growth and low wage inflation. DNWR declines during severe recessions but even then wage setting does not become completely flexible as the proportion of observed wage cuts is still below the level that would correspond to a flexible regime.
JEL Code
B41 : History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches→Economic Methodology→Economic Methodology
D22 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
Network
Wage dynamics network
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