Local flexibility in wage setting: evidence from the Norwegian local public sector

Falch, Torberg; Strøm, Bjarne
February 2006
Empirical Economics;Feb2006, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p113
Academic Journal
The public sectors in the Scandinavian countries have been prominent examples of centralized wage-setting systems. In Norway, more room for local flexibility was implemented by a wage frame system introduced in 1990 in which the national wage scale system merely works like a minimum wage system. We analyze the effect of this reform using a unique database where we can track employees and their local government over time and explore the consequences of controlling for fixed individual effects and fixed employer effects. We find that the wage dispersion increased across local governments after 1990, and that wages to some extent became more responsive to local government income, monopsony power and other local government characteristics after the reform. However, the numerical effects of the reform are estimated to be quite small.


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