Changing Inequality in Markets for Workplace Amenities
AbstractWe know that earnings inequality has increased sharply in the United States since the late 1970s, but there has been no evidence on the changing inequality of nonmonetary aspects of work nor on how any such changes are related to changes in earnings. I begin by studying patterns of interindustry differences in occupational injuries during 1979-95, breaking the total burden of injuries into its components, risk of injury and injury duration. In those industries where earnings rose relatively, we observed a relative drop in injury rates and in the total burden of injuries. Obversely, during the 1960s interindustry wage differentials narrowed, a decline that was associated with an increase in the relative risk of injury in high-wage industries. Evidence for large sectors of Dutch industry from 1974-92 suggests that injury rates there fell most in sectors where wages grew most rapidly. Examination of another workplace disamenity, working evenings or nights, shows analogous results for the period 1973-91: This disamenity was increasingly borne by low-wage male workers. Changes in earnings inequality thus have understated absolute changes in inequality in the returns to work. All the outcomes are readily explicable as income effects of exogenous shocks to the distribution of full earnings in the presence of skill-neutral changes in the cost of reducing workplace disamenities. Under reasonable assumptions we can infer from the estimates that the demand for the amenities, workplace safety and desirable work times, is highly income-elastic.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6515.
Date of creation: Apr 1998
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "Changing Inequality In Markets For Workplace Amenities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1085-1123, November.
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:fth:prinin:385 is not listed on IDEAS
- Hersch, Joni, 1998. "Compensating Differentials for Gender-Specific Job Injury Risks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 598-627, June.
- Brown, Charles, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-34, February.
- Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
- repec:pri:indrel:764 is not listed on IDEAS
- A. M. Wolaver & T. D. McBride & B. L. Wolfe, . "Decreasing Opportunities for Low-Wage Workers: The Role of the Nondiscrimination Law for Employer-Provided Health Insurance," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1124-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Goldin, Claudia & Margo, Robert A, 1992.
"The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid-century,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 1-34, February.
- Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1991. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid- Century," NBER Working Papers 3817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Linda A. Bell & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "The causes of rising interindustry wage dispersion in the United States," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(2), pages 275-287, January.
- Kostiuk, Peter F, 1990. "Compensating Differentials for Shift Work," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1054-75, October.
- Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1996. "The Timing of Work Time Over Time," NBER Working Papers 5855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Duncan, Greg J. & Holmlund, Bertil, 1983. "Was Adam Smith Right, After All? Another Test of the Theory of Compensating Wage Differentials," Working Paper Series 93, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Biddle, Jeff E & Zarkin, Gary A, 1988. "Worker Preferences and Market Compensation for Job Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 660-67, November.
- Edward J. Schumacher & Barry T. Hirsch, .
"Compensating Differentials and Unmeasured Ability in the Labor Market For Nurses: Why Do Hospitals Pay More?,"
9604, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
- Edward J. Schumacher & Barry T. Hirsch, 1997. "Compensating differentials and unmeasured ability in the labor market for nurses: Why do hospitals pay more?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(4), pages 557-579, July.
- Hal Sider, 1985. "Work-Related Accidents and the Production Process," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(1), pages 47-63.
- Hwang, Hae-shin & Reed, W Robert & Hubbard, Carlton, 1992. "Compensating Wage Differentials and Unobserved Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 835-58, August.
- Ruser, John W, 1991. "Workers' Compensation and Occupational Injuries and Illnesses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 325-50, October.
- Suits, Daniel B, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 747-52, September.
- Duncan, Greg J & Holmlund, Bertil, 1983. "Was Adam Smith Right after All? Another Test of the Theory of Compensating Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 366-79, October.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.