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Did Wages Reflect Growth in Productivity?

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  • Martin S. Feldstein

Abstract

The level of productivity doubled in the U.S. nonfarm business sector between 1970 and 2006. Wages, or more accurately total compensation per hour, increased at approximately the same annual rate during that period if nominal compensation is adjusted for inflation in the same way as the nominal output measure that is used to calculate productivity. Total employee compensation as a share of national income was 66 percent of national income in 1970 and 64 percent in 2006. This measure of the labor compensation share has been remarkably stable since the 1970s. It rose from an average of 62 percent in the decade of the 1960s to 66 percent in the decades of the 1970s and 1980s and then declined to 65 percent in the decade of the 1990s where it has again been from 2000 until the most recent quarter.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13953.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Publication status: published as Feldstein, Martin, 2008. "Did wages reflect growth in productivity?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 591-594.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13953

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Cited by:
  1. Manuela Goretti, 2008. "Wage-Price Setting in New EU Member States," IMF Working Papers 08/243, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Sotirios Theodoropoulos, 2011. "A Wage Policy for External Balance and Employment in EMU Environment: A Theoretical Approach," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 61(3-4), pages 85-102, July - De.
  3. Boudreau, James W., 2010. "Stratification and growth in agent-based matching markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 168-179, August.
  4. Duarte, Rita & Marques, Carlos Robalo, 2009. "The dynamic effects of shocks to wages and prices in the United States and the euro area," Working Paper Series 1067, European Central Bank.
  5. Margarita Katsimi & Sarantis Kalyvitis & Thomas Moutos, 2009. ""Unwarranted" Wage Changes and the Return on Capital," CESifo Working Paper Series 2804, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Bental, Benjamin & Demougin, Dominique, 2010. "Declining labor shares and bargaining power: An institutional explanation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 443-456, March.
  7. Pérez, Javier J. & Sánchez, Jesús, 2010. "Is there a signalling role for public wages? Evidence for the euro area based on macro data," Working Paper Series 1148, European Central Bank.
  8. Freddy, Liew, 2011. "Productivity-wage-growth nexus: an empirical study of Singapore," MPRA Paper 34459, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Lamo, Ana & Pérez, Javier J. & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2013. "Are government wages interlinked with private sector wages?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 697-712.
  10. Mefford, Robert N., 2009. "Increasing productivity in global firms: The CEO challenge," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 262-272, September.
  11. Kumar, Saten & Pacheco, Gail, 2012. "What determines the long run growth rate in Kenya?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 705-718.
  12. Peeters, Marga & Den Reijer, Ard, 2011. "On wage formation, wage flexibility and wage coordination : A focus on the wage impact of productivity in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United States," MPRA Paper 31102, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Thomas Kemeny & Michael Storper, 2012. "Specialization and Regional Economic Development," SERC Discussion Papers 0121, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.

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