Regulation and wage adjustment patterns: non parametric evidence from longitudinal data

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This paper gives a first step toward a methodology to quantify the influences of regulation on short-run earnings dynamics. It also provides evidence on the patterns of wage adjustment adopted during the recent high inflationary experience in Brazil.The large variety of official wage indexation rules adopted in Brazil during the recent years combined with the availability of monthly surveys on labor markets makes the Brazilian case a good laboratory to test how regulation affects earnings dynamics. In particular, the combination of large sample sizes with the possibility of following the same worker through short periods of time allows to estimate the cross-sectional distribution of longitudinal statistics based on observed earnings (e.g., monthly and annual rates of change).The empirical strategy adopted here is to compare the distributions of longitudinal statistics extracted from actual earnings data with simulations generated from minimum adjustment requirements imposed by the Brazilian Wage Law. The analysis provides statistics on how binding were wage regulation schemes. The visual analysis of the distribution of wage adjustments proves useful to highlight stylized facts that may guide future empirical work.

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