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Labor Market Institutions, Wages, and Investment

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  • Pischke, Jörn-Steffen

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Labor market institutions, via their effect on the wage structure, affect the investment decisions of firms in labor markets with frictions. This observation helps explain rising wage inequality in the US, but a relatively stable wage structure in Europe in the 1980s. These different trends are the result of different investment decisions by firms for the jobs typically held by less skilled workers. Firms in Europe have more incentives to invest in less skilled workers, because minimum wages or union contracts mandate that relatively high wages have to be paid to these workers. I report some empirical evidence for investments in training and physical capital across the Atlantic, which is roughly in line with this theoretical reasoning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1268.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: CESifo Economic Studies, 2005, 51 (1), 47-75
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1268

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Keywords: changes in wage inequality; human capital; frictional labor markets;

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," NBER Working Papers 6357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 2004. "Do Cognitive Test Scores Explain Higher U.S. Wage Inequality?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1139, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2003. "Work-related training and the new National Minimum Wage in Britain -ISER Working Paper-," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F112-42, February.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "Minimum Wages and On-the-job Training," NBER Working Papers 7184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "A picture of European unemployment: success and failure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20039, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Freeman, Richard & Schettkat, Ronald, 2001. "Skill Compression, Wage Differentials, and Employment: Germany vs the US," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 582-603, July.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," NBER Working Papers 8832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
  11. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  12. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-08, May.
  13. Alan Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "Observations and Conjectures on the U.S. Employment Miracle," Working Papers 769, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  14. Arulampalam, Wiji & Alison L Booth & Mark L Bryan, 2003. "Work-related Training and the New National Minimum Wage in Britain," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 9, Royal Economic Society.
  15. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
  16. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  17. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1998. "Minimum Wages and Training Revisited," NBER Working Papers 6651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:rus:hseeco:57408 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training and the new minimum wage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C87-C94, 03.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Elisabetta Croci Angelini & Francesco Farina, 2007. "Technological choices under institutional constraints: measuring the impact on earnings dispersion," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 006, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
  2. Koeniger, Winfried & Leonardi, Marco, 2006. "Capital Deepening and Wage Differentials: Germany vs. US," IZA Discussion Papers 2065, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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