Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from German Micro Data

45 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2004

See all articles by Thomas K. Bauer

Thomas K. Bauer

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen); University of Bochum - Faculty of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Holger Bonin

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Uwe Sunde

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Date Written: December 2003

Abstract

The paper examines real and nominal wage rigidities. We estimate a switching regime model, in which the observed distribution of individual wage changes, computed from West German register data for 1976-1997, is generated by simultaneous processes of real, nominal or no wage rigidity, and measurement error. The fraction of workers facing wage increases that are due to nominal, but mostly real wage rigidity is substantial. The extent of real rigidity rises with inflation, whereas the opposite holds for nominal rigidity. Overall, the incidence of wage rigidity, which accelerates unemployment growth, is most likely minimized in an environment with moderate inflation.

Keywords: downward wage rigidity, real effects of inflation, collective bargaining, switching regime model, West Germany

JEL Classification: J31, J51, E52

Suggested Citation

Bauer, Thomas K. and Bonin, Holger and Sunde, Uwe, Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from German Micro Data (December 2003). IZA Discussion Paper No. 959, RWI: Discussion Paper No. 12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=486024

Thomas K. Bauer

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Holger Bonin (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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+49 228 3894 510 (Fax)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

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Uwe Sunde

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

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Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

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