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Efforts and Wages: A New Look at the Inter-Industry Wage Differentials

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  • Edward E. Leamer
  • Christopher Thornberg

Abstract

We provide evidence that US workers face a wage-effort offer curve with the high-wage high-effort jobs occurring in the capital intensive sectors. We find that real wage offers rose at every level of effort during the 1960's, a shift which is consistent with a decline in the rental cost of capital. During the 1970's, when relative prices of labor-intensive goods declined, the wage-effort offer curve twisted, offering lower pay for the low-paid jobs in the labor-intensive sectors but higher pay for the high-paid jobs in the capital-intensive sectors. In the 1980's, workers at every wage level began to work more hours for the same weekly wage. This we loosely attribute either to the increasing cost of non-wage benefits, especially health care, or to the introduction of new equipment. In studying the wage-effort offer curve rate of unionization, education, and rent sharing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6626.

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Date of creation: Jun 1998
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Publication status: published as Effort and Wages: A New Look at the Interindustry Wage Differentials , Edward E. Leamer, Christopher F. Thornberg. in The Impact of International Trade on Wages , Feenstra. 2000
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6626

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  1. Rosen, Sherwin, 1969. "On the Interindustry Wage and Hours Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(2), pages 249-73, March/Apr.
  2. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-35, May.
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  7. Lindsay, C M, 1971. "Measuring Human Capital Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1195-1215, Nov.-Dec..
  8. Biddle, Jeff E & Zarkin, Gary A, 1989. "Choice among Wage-Hours Packages: An Empirical Investigation of Male Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 415-37, October.
  9. Bernanke, Ben S, 1986. "Employment, Hours, and Earnings in the Depression: An Analysis of EightManufacturing Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 82-109, March.
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  11. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. MacPherson, 1993. "Union membership and coverage files from the Current Population Surveys: Note," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 574-578, April.
  14. Barzel, Yoram, 1973. "The Determination of Daily Hours and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 220-38, May.
  15. Moffitt, Robert, 1984. "The Estimation of a Joint Wage-Hours Labor Supply Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 550-66, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Yih-Chyi Chuang & Pi-Fum Hsu, 2004. "FDI, trade, and spillover efficiency: evidence from China's manufacturing sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(10), pages 1103-1115.

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