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Wage inequality and overeducation in a model with efficiency wages

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  • Peter Skott

Abstract

This paper shows that the existence and persistence of `overeducation' can be explained by an extension of the efficiency wage model. When calibrated to fit the amounts of overeducation found in most empirical studies, the model implies that both the relative wage and the relative employment of high-skill workers depend inversely on aggregate economic activity. Keeping aggregate employment constant, furthermore, low-skill unemployment rises, following an increase in the relative supply of high-skill labour, and relative wages may be insensitive to changes in relative labour supplies. The model may help to explain rising wage inequality in some countries since the early 1970s.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 94-123

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:39:y:2006:i:1:p:94-123

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References

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  1. Bowles, Samuel, 1985. "The Production Process in a Competitive Economy: Walrasian, Neo-Hobbesian, and Marxian Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 16-36, March.
  2. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
  3. Skott, Peter, . "Fairness as a source of hysteresis in employment and relative wages," Economics Working Papers 2003-6, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  4. F Green & Steven McIntosh & Anna Vignoles, 1999. "Overeducation and Skills - Clarifying the Concepts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0435, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. A Felstead & D Gallie & F Green, 2000. "Computers are even more important than you thought: An Analysis of the changing skill-intensity of jobs," CEP Discussion Papers dp0439, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Marco Manacorda & Peter Robinson, 1997. "Qualifications and the Labour Market in Britain: 1984-1994 Skill Biased Change in the Demand for Labour or Credentialism?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0330, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  8. Daly, Mary C. & Buchel, Felix & Duncan, Greg J., 2000. "Premiums and penalties for surplus and deficit education: Evidence from the United States and Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-178, April.
  9. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Labor Market Dynamics When Unemployment Is A Worker Discipline Device," NBER Working Papers 2967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dolton, Peter & Vignoles, Anna, 2000. "The incidence and effects of overeducation in the U.K. graduate labour market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 179-198, April.
  11. Carmichael, Lorne, 1985. "Can Unemployment Be Involuntary? Comment [Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1213-14, December.
  12. Peter Skott & Paul Auerbach, 2004. "Wage inequality and skill asymmetries," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-03, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  13. Edward N. Wolff, 1995. "Technology and the Demand for Skills," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_153, Levy Economics Institute.
  14. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-22, April.
  15. Hersch, Joni, 1991. "Education Match and Job Match," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 140-44, February.
  16. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  17. P. J. Sloane & H. Battu & P. T. Seaman, 1999. "Overeducation, undereducation and the British labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1437-1453.
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Cited by:
  1. Stijn Baert & Bart Cockx & Dieter Verhaest, 2012. "Overeducation at the Start of the Career - Stepping Stone or Trap?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3825, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 2007. "Wage Dispersion, Over-Qualification, and Reder Competition," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 1(13 (Versi), pages 1-22.
  3. Verhaest, Dieter & Schatteman, Tom, 2010. "Overeducation in the early career: an analysis using sequence techniques," Working Papers 2010/09, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  4. Fabian Slonimczyk & Peter Skott, 2010. "Employment and Distribution Effects of the Minimum Wage," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2010-03, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  5. Peter Skott & Frederick Guy, 2005. "Power-Biased Technological Change and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2005-17, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  6. Skott, Peter & Guy, Frederick, 2007. "A model of power-biased technological change," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 124-131, April.
  7. Slonimczyk, Fabian, 2011. "Earnings inequality and skill mismatch in the U.S.: 1973-2002," MPRA Paper 35449, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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