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Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity


Fehr, Ernst; Goette, Lorenz (2003). Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 44, University of Zurich.

Abstract

"Recent studies found evidence for nominal wage rigidity during periods of relatively high nominal GDP growth. It has been argued, however, that in an environment with low nominal GDP growth, when nominal wage cuts become customary, workers’ cuts would erode and, hence, firms would no longer hesitate to reduce nominal pay. If this argument is valid nominal wage rigidity is largely irrelevant because in a high-growth environment there is little need to cut nominal pay while in a low-growth environment the necessary cuts would occur. To examine this argument we use data from Switzerland where nominal GDP growth has been very low for many years in the 1990s. We find that the rigidity of nominal wages is a robust phenomenon that does not vanish in a low growth environment. In addition, it constitutes a considerable obstacle to real wage adjustments. In the absence of downward nominal rigidity, real wages would indeed be quite responsive to unemployment."

Abstract

"Recent studies found evidence for nominal wage rigidity during periods of relatively high nominal GDP growth. It has been argued, however, that in an environment with low nominal GDP growth, when nominal wage cuts become customary, workers’ cuts would erode and, hence, firms would no longer hesitate to reduce nominal pay. If this argument is valid nominal wage rigidity is largely irrelevant because in a high-growth environment there is little need to cut nominal pay while in a low-growth environment the necessary cuts would occur. To examine this argument we use data from Switzerland where nominal GDP growth has been very low for many years in the 1990s. We find that the rigidity of nominal wages is a robust phenomenon that does not vanish in a low growth environment. In addition, it constitutes a considerable obstacle to real wage adjustments. In the absence of downward nominal rigidity, real wages would indeed be quite responsive to unemployment."

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:March 2003
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:25
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 12:49
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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