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Privatization, Entry Regulation and the Decline of Labor's Share of GDP: A Cross-Country Analysis of the Network Industries

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  • Ghazala Azmat
  • Alan Manning
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

Labor's share of GDP in most OECD countries has declined over the last two decades. Some authors have suggested that these changes are linked to deregulation of product and labor markets. To examine this we focus on a large quasi-experiment in the OECD: the privatization of many network industries (e.g. telecommunications and utilities). We present a model with agency problems, imperfect product market competition and worker bargaining which makes clear predictions on how the labor share, employment and wages respond to privatization and other regulatory changes. We exploit cross-country panel data on several network industries and find that privatization can account for a significant proportion of the fall of labor's share (a fifth overall, but over half in Britain and France). The impact of privatization has been offset by falling barriers to entry, which consistent with theory, dampens profit margins.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0806.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0806

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Profit share; Wages; Privatization; Entry Regulation;

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Cited by:
  1. Luciano Boggio & Vincenzo Dall'Aglio & Marco Magnani, 2009. "On Labour Shares in Recent Decades: A Survey," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Teoria Economica e Metodi Quantitativi itemq0957, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  2. Antonio Bassanetti & Roberto Torrini & Francesco Zollino, 2010. "Changing institutions in the European market: the impact on mark-ups and rents allocation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 781, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Dorothee Schneider, 2011. "Bargaining, Openness, and the Labor Share," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-068, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  4. Georgios Argitis & Stella Michopoulou, 2011. "Are Full Employment and Social Cohesion Possible Under Financialization?," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 139-155, January.
  5. Paul Maarek, 2012. "Labor share, Informal sector and Development," THEMA Working Papers 2012-34, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  6. Askenazy, Philippe & Cette, Gilbert & Maarek, Paul, 2012. "Rent Building, Rent Sharing: A Panel Country-Industry Empirical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 6443, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2009. "The distinct effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on firm organization," NBER Working Papers 14975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chi, Wei & Qian, Xiaoye, 2013. "Regional disparity of labor's share in China: Evidence and explanation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 277-293.
  9. Poggi, Ambra & Florio, Massimo, 2010. "Energy deprivation dynamics and regulatory reforms in Europe: Evidence from household panel data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 253-264, January.
  10. Mario Mansour & Michael Keen, 2009. "Revenue Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 09/157, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Carlo V. Fiorio & Massimo Florio, 2010. "A Fair Price for Energy? Ownership versus Market Opening in the EU15," CESifo Working Paper Series 3124, CESifo Group Munich.

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