The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper investigates wage setting in (west) Germany using the German Socioeconomic Panel dataset on individuals and compares the findings with those available for the United Kingdom and the United States. The fraction of job stayers in (west) Germany who suffer unchanged wages or wage cuts compares with that in similar data for the Anglo-American countries, even after various adjustments for potential reporting errors. While nominal wages of job stayers are rigid downward, real wages are not. Nevertheless, the macroeconomic effects of the nominal rigidity are limited and cannot be weakened substantially by raising inflation.