Exchange Rate, External Orientation of Firms and Wage Adjustment

38 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2012

See all articles by Francesco Nucci

Francesco Nucci

University of Rome I

Alberto F. Pozzolo

Università degli Studi di Roma Tre

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2012


We estimate the effect of exchange rate movements on firm-level wages using a representative panel of manufacturing firms. We show that the direction and size of wage adjustment is shaped by the international exposure of each firm on both the sale and cost side of the balance sheet, similar to the response of employment documented in Nucci and Pozzolo (2010). Through the revenue side,wages tend to rise after a currency depreciation and the effect is more pronounced the higher is the firm’s exposure to sales from exports. Through the expenditure side, a depreciation induces a cut in the firm’s wages, and the effect is larger the higher is the incidence of imported inputs in total production costs. For a given degree of external orientation, both these effects are larger for firms with a lower market power. Moreover, we document that the effect of exchange rates on wages is shaped by (i) the extent of sectoral import penetration in the domestic market; (ii) the proportion of newly hired workers in each firm in a given year; and (iii) the composition of the firm’s workforce by occupational category.

Keywords: E24, F16, F31

JEL Classification: Exchange Rate, Firms’ Foreign Exposure, Wages

Suggested Citation

Nucci, Francesco and Pozzolo, Alberto F., Exchange Rate, External Orientation of Firms and Wage Adjustment (July 2012). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 336. Available at SSRN: or

Francesco Nucci

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro
Rome, 00185
+39 06 4991 0847 (Phone)
+39 06 445 3246 (Fax)

Alberto F. Pozzolo (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi di Roma Tre ( email )

Via Ostiense 163
Roma, RM 00154


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