Firms’ Adjustment During 2010-13: Evidence from the Wage Dynamics Survey
34 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 11, 2015
This paper sets out the main lessons learnt from a survey of wage-setting in the United Kingdom, carried out as part of the European Central Bank’s Wage Dynamics Network survey covering 25 European countries. The survey covered the 2010-13 period, during which most firms experienced an increase in demand and a moderate increase in costs as the economy recovered from the Great Recession. We found the median frequency of wage-setting to be annual and that around 30% of firms directly and explicitly related changes in their base wage to inflation. There was also some evidence of downward nominal wage rigidity with around 25% of firms freezing wages in 2010, although by 2014 this had fallen to around 10%. The survey suggested that theories of wage rigidity based around the ability of workers to ‘shirk’ and/or fairness considerations explained why firms were reluctant to cut wages.
Keywords: Wage-setting, survey evidence, labour market adjustment
JEL Classification: E24, J30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation