NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Ahu Yildirmaz

Automatic Data Processing

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Institutional Affiliation: Automatic Data Processing

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2019Aggregate Nominal Wage Adjustments: New Evidence from Administrative Payroll Data
with John Grigsby, Erik Hurst: w25628
Using administrative payroll data from the largest U.S. payroll processing company, we document a series of new facts about nominal wage adjustments in the United States. The data allow us to define a worker's per-period base contract wage separately from other forms of compensation such as bonuses. We provide evidence that the extent to which base wages adjust is likely the appropriate concept of wage stickiness in many macro models. Nominal base wage declines are much rarer than previously thought with only 2% of job-stayers receiving a nominal base wage cut during a given year. However, accounting for shifts in nominal base wages of job-changers implies that aggregate nominal wages are more flexible than the nominal wages of job-stayers. In addition, we provide evidence that the flexibi...
 
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