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The Grocery stores wage distribution: A semi-parametric analysis of the role of retailing and labor market institutions

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  • John W. Budd
  • Brian P. McCall

Abstract

Using Current Population Survey data supplemented with data from other sources, the authors analyze changes in the wage distribution in the U.S. grocery stores industry between 1984 and 1994. They find that in this industry, unlike in many others, wage inequality did not increase. Instead, real wages declined across the entire distribution, as the net effect of changes in markets, institutions, and technology was to erode the earnings of low-wage, middle-wage, and high-wage workers alike. Although there were drastic increases in grocery store size, hours of operation, and the use of scanners over the sample period, changes in labor market institutions explain most of the overall wage distribution change. Skill-biased technological change does not appear to have had appreciable effects on the wage distribution. (Author's abstract.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 484-501

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:54:y:2001:i:2:p:484-501

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  1. repec:fth:prinin:399 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. John DiNardo & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Diverging male wage inequality in the United States and Canada, 1981-1988: Do institutions explain the difference?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(4), pages 629-651, July.
  3. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-44, September.
  4. Kinsey, Jean D. & Senauer, Benjamin & King, Robert P. & Phumpiu, Paul F., 1996. "Changes In Retail Food Delivery: Signals For Producers, Processors And Distributors," Working Papers 14352, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
  5. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
  6. Gary Burtless, 1995. "International Trade and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 800-816, June.
  7. Chinhui Juhn, 1999. "Wage inequality and demand for skill: Evidence from five decades," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 424-443, April.
  8. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  9. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  10. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Budd, John W. & McCall, Brian P., 1999. "Decomposing Changes In Retail Food Wage Distributions, 1983-1998: A Semi-Parametric Analysis," Working Papers 14327, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.

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