How Selective are Real Wage Cuts? A Micro‐Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data

21 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2015

See all articles by Boris Hirsch

Boris Hirsch

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Thomas Zwick

University of Würzburg - Business Administration & Economics; Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW); Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2015

Abstract

Using linked employer–employee panel data for Germany, we investigate whether firms implement real wage reductions in a selective manner. In line with insider–outsider and several strands of efficiency wage theory, we find strong evidence for selective wage cuts with high‐productivity workers being spared even when controlling for permanent differences in firms' wage policies. In contrast to some recent contributions stressing fairness considerations, we also find that wage cuts increase wage dispersion among peers rather than narrowing it. Notably, the same selectivity pattern shows up when restricting our analysis to firms covered by collective agreements or having a works council.

JEL Classification: J30, J31

Suggested Citation

Hirsch, Boris and Zwick, Thomas, How Selective are Real Wage Cuts? A Micro‐Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data (December 2015). LABOUR, Vol. 29, Issue 4, pp. 327-347, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685457 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/labr.12063

Boris Hirsch (Contact Author)

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg ( email )

Schloßplatz 4
Erlangen, Bavaria 91054
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.arbeitsmarkt.wiso.uni-erlangen.de/english/hirsch_e.htm

Thomas Zwick

University of Würzburg - Business Administration & Economics ( email )

Sanderring 2
Wuerzburg, D-97070
Germany

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim
Germany

Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, MD6200
Netherlands

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