Age Adjustment by Italian Firms: Any Difference During the Crisis? A Survey-Based Analysis
29 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2011
Date Written: June 15, 2011
The study analyses wage adjustment by Italian firms on the basis of information collected through a coordinated survey carried out in 17 European countries in two waves (at the beginning of 2008 and in the summer of 2009). The pre-crisis evidence indicates that the degree of wage rigidity is relatively high in Italy: wages remain unchanged on average for about two years, against an average of just over one year in the other countries. Italian firms hardly cut nominal wages, reflecting not only institutional constraints, but also an attempt to avoid a negative impact on their productivity. During the economic recession the firms most severely affected by the fall in demand reduced their costs mainly by adjusting the input of labor (in terms of both employment and hours worked). A higher incidence of skilled and white-collar workers was accompanied by greater recourse to strategies aimed at containing non-labor costs, presumably in order to preserve the human capital accumulated.
Keywords: survey, wage rigidity, economic recession
JEL Classification: D21, E30, J31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation