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The Unbearable Stability of the German Wage Structure

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  • Eswar Prasad

Abstract

This paper uses micro data from the German Socio-Economic Panel to document that the wage structure in West Germany was remarkably stable during 1984-97, with little variation over time in wage or earnings inequality between and within different skill groups. Empirical evidence suggests that this stability is attributable to institutional factors rather than market forces. The rigidity of relative wages, despite relative shifts in labor demand that favor skilled workers, has resulted in sharp declines in employment rates for unskilled workers. The microeconomic evidence is shown to have important implications for interpreting trends in wage shares, capital-labor ratios, and aggregate unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 00/22.

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Length: 52
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:00/22

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Related research

Keywords: Labor markets; wage; wage structure; employment; wages; unemployment; unemployment rates; compensation; skilled labor; aggregate unemployment; employment levels; sectoral employment; wage bargaining; salaries; worker; labor demand; employment share; wage equations; employment probabilities; male wage; composition of employment; wage structures; wage increases; employment effects; employment shares; employment equation; compensation packages; employment rates; unemployment rate; employment rate; wage adjustment; employment growth; aggregate unemployment rate; employment equations; employment prospects; total labor force; wage equation; aggregate employment; male labor force; aggregate unemployment rates; minimum wage; labor force participants; wage differentiation; nonwage compensation; full-time employment;

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