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Re-measuring labor's share

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  • Andrew T. Young

    ()

  • Hernando Zuleta

    ()

Abstract

Measuring labor's share of an economy's aggregate income seems straightforward, at least in principle. Count up wage and salary income, along with the value of benefits provided to employees, and divide it by total income. However, one fundamental concept of labor's share in macroeconomic theory is not the amount of aggregate income paid out to labor. Rather, it is the share of aggregate production that is attributable to "raw" units of labor. Or, otherwise stated, it is the share of aggregate income that would have been paid to laborers if they had no accumulated stocks of human capital.1 This share corresponds to an aggregate production function parameter: the elasticity of output with respect to physical (i.e. non-augmented or raw) units of labor (Robert Solow, 1957). In this paper we estimate annual raw labor’s share for the US, 1949 to 1996.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO in its series DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO with number 004674.

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Length: 19
Date of creation: 01 May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:col:000092:004674

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  1. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Measuring Labor's Share," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 45-51, May.
  2. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kevin J. Stiroh & Dale W. Jorgenson, 1999. "Information Technology and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 109-115, May.
  4. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Luciano BOGGIO & Vincenzo DALL’AGLIO & Marco MAGNANI, 2010. "On Labour Shares in Recent Decades: A Survey," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 118(3), pages 283-333.

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