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Accounting for Wage and Employment Changes in the U. S. from 1968-2000: A Dynamic Model of Labor Market Equilibrium

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  • Donghoon Lee

    ()
    (Department of Economics, New York University)

  • Kenneth I. Wolpin

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper, we present a unified treatment of and explanation for the evolution of wages and employment in the U.S. over the last 30 years. Specifically, we account for the pattern of changes in wage inequality, for the increased relative wage and employment of women, for the emergence of the college wage premium and for the shift in employment from the goods to the service-producing sector. The underlying theory we adopt is neoclassical, a two-sector competitive labor market economy in which the supply of and demand for labor of heterogeneous skill determines spot market skill-rental prices. The empirical approach is structural. The model embeds many of the features that have been posited in the literature to have contributed to the changing U.S. wage and employment structure including skill-biased technical change, capital-skill complementarity, changes in relative product-market prices, changes in the productivity of labor in home production and demographics such as changing cohort size and fertility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 06-005.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2005
Date of revision: 02 Jan 2006
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:06-005

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Keywords: Male-Female Wage Differential; Wage Inequality; College Wage Premium;

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  1. Hornstein, Andreas & Krusell, Per & Violante, Giovanni L., 2005. "The Effects of Technical Change on Labor Market Inequalities," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 20, pages 1275-1370 Elsevier.
  2. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  3. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "The Solution and Estimation of Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Models by Simulation and Interpolation: Monte Carlo Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 648-72, November.
  7. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2006. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 1-46, 01.
  8. Altug, Sumru & Miller, Robert A, 1998. "The Effect of Work Experience on Female Wages and Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 45-85, January.
  9. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  10. Baldwin, Robert E & Cain, Glen C, 1997. "Shifts in US Relative Wages: The Role of Trade, Technology and Factor Endowments," CEPR Discussion Papers 1596, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Victor R. Fuchs, 1968. "The Service Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch68-1.
  12. Donghoon Lee & Matthew Wiswall, 2007. "A Parallel Implementation of the Simplex Function Minimization Routine," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 171-187, September.
  13. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
  15. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2005. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Since 1975," NBER Working Papers 11159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  17. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Finis Welch, 2000. "Growth in Women's Relative Wages and in Inequality among Men: One Phenomenon or Two?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 444-449, May.
  19. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
  20. 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.
  21. Zvi Eckstein & Éva Nagypál, 2004. "The evolution of U.S. earnings inequality: 1961?2002," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Dec, pages 10-29.
  22. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
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