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Testing for Factor Price Equality with Unobserved Differences in Factor Quality or Productivity

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  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Stephen J. Redding
  • Peter K. Schott

Abstract

We develop a method for identifying departures from relative factor price equality that is robust to unobserved variation in factor productivity. We implement this method using data on the relative wage bills of nonproduction and production workers across 170 local labor markets comprising the continental United States for 1972, 1992, and 2007. We find evidence of statistically significant differences in relative wages in all three years. These differences increase in magnitude over time and are related to industry structure in a manner that is consistent with neoclassical models of production. (JEL J31, J61, R23)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 135-63

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:135-63

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.5.2.135
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  1. Bernard, Andrew & Redding, Stephen J & Schott, Peter, 2004. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogenous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4622, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," NBER Working Papers 6785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1931, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  5. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, September.
  6. Peter K. Schott, 2006. "The Relative Sophistication of Chinese Exports," NBER Working Papers 12173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Survival of the best fit: exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20028, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Bound, John & Holzer, Harry J, 2000. "Demand Shifts, Population Adjustments, and Labor Market Outcomes during the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 20-54, January.
  9. Autor, David & Dorn, David & Hanson, Gordon H., 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 7150, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Debaere, Peter, 2004. "Does lumpiness matter in an open economy?: Studying international economics with regional data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 485-501, December.
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  12. Courant, P.N. & Deardorff, A.V., 1989. "International Trade With Lumpy Countries," Papers 90-04, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  13. Carlino, Gerald A. & Mills, Leonard O., 1993. "Are U.S. regional incomes converging? : A time series analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 335-346, November.
  14. Peter K. Schott, 2003. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 686-708, June.
  15. David S. Lee, 1999. "WAGE INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 1980s: RISING DISPERSION OR FALLING MINIMUM WAGE?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023, August.
  16. Topel, Robert H, 1994. "Regional Labor Markets and the Determinants of Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 17-22, May.
  17. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  18. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  19. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
  20. Leamer, Edward E, 1987. "Paths of Development in the Three-Factor, n-Good General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 961-99, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Holger Breinlich & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Jonathan R. W. Temple, 2013. "Regional growth and regional decline," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51575, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Wenya Cheng & John Morrow & Kitjawat Tacharoen, 2013. "Productivity as if Space Mattered: An Application to Factor Markets Across China," CESifo Working Paper Series 4494, CESifo Group Munich.

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