How Strong is the Case for Downward Real Wage Rigidity?
42 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2007
Date Written: June 27, 2007
This paper explores the existence of downward real wage rigidity (DRWR) in 19 OECD countries, over the period 1973-1999, using data for hourly nominal earnings at the industry level. Based on a nonparametric statistical method, which allows for country- and year-specific variation in both the median and the dispersion of industry wage changes, we find evidence of some DRWR in OECD countries overall, as well as for specific geographical regions and time periods. There is some evidence that real wage cuts are less prevalent in countries with strict employment protection legislation and high union density. Generally, we find stronger evidence for downward nominal wage rigidity than for downward real wage rigidity.
JEL Classification: J3, J5, C14, C15, E31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation