Büttner, Thomas Jacobebbinghaus, Peter Ludsteck, Johannes
Year of Publication:
Economics / Discussion papers 2009-34
The occupational skill structure depends on the business cycle if employers respond to shortages of applicants during upturns by lowering their hiring standards. The notion and relevance of hiring standards adjustment was advanced by Reder and investigated formally in a search-theoretic framework by Mortensen. Devereux implements empirical tests for these theories and finds affirmative evidence for the U.S. labour market. We replicate his analysis using German employment register data. Regarding the occupational skill composition we obtain somewhat lower but qualitatively similar responses to the business cycle despite of well known institutional differences between the U.S. and German labour market. The responsiveness of occupational composition wages to the business cycle is considerably lower in Germany.