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The Role of Labor Markets in Structural Change

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  • Miguel Ricaurte

Abstract

Why did services become the dominant sector in industrialized economies? While abundant literature exists on the transition from agriculture to industry (i.e., the industrial revolution), there is no consensual explanation for the second wave of structural change. I argue that sectoral differences in regulation affecting the degree of competition in labor and goods markets explain: (a) the rise in the services sector share of output and employment, (b) international differences in cross-sector structure, and (c) changes in relative wages among sectors. Using evidence on market imperfections, I calibrate a two-sector model where household unions bargain with firms for wages. The least competitive sector pays higher wages, and employment is restricted accordingly. The model produces time series consistent with the “service revolution” as experienced in the Unites States and European economies between 1950 and 2000. In particular, while generating changes in shares of output and employment, the model offers an explanation for relative wage differences, which the standard literature fails to capture.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 584.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:584

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  1. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski, 2009. "The Rise of the Service Economy," NBER Working Papers 14822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-52, May.
  3. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, . "Macroeconomic effects of regulation and deregulation in goods and labor markets," Working Papers 187, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Veronica Guerrieri, 2006. "Capital Deepening and Non-Balanced Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 12475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
  7. Barry T. Hirsch, 2008. "Sluggish Institutions in a Dynamic World: Can Unions and Industrial Competition Coexist?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 153-176, Winter.
  8. Laitner, John, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 545-61, July.
  9. Magnus Jonsson, 2007. "The welfare cost of imperfect competition and distortionary taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 576-594, October.
  10. Messina, Julián, 2003. "The role of product market regulations in the process of structural change," Working Paper Series 0217, European Central Bank.
  11. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2004. "What Effect Do Unions Have on Wages Now and Would Freeman and Medoff Be Surprised?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 383-414, July.
  12. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  13. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  14. Miguel Ricaurte, 2009. "Interindustry Wage Differences: An Empirical Review," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 525, Central Bank of Chile.
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Cited by:
  1. Miguel Ricaurte, 2009. "Interindustry Wage Differences: An Empirical Review," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 525, Central Bank of Chile.

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