Comparing Real Wage Rates
AbstractA real wage rate is a nominal wage rate divided by the price of a good and is a transparent measure of how much of the good an hour of work buys. It provides an important indicator of the living standards of workers, and also of the productivity of workers. In this paper I set out the conceptual basis for such measures, provide some historical examples, and then provide my own preliminary analysis of a decade long project designed to measure the wages of workers doing the same job in over 60 countries workers at McDonald’s restaurants. The results demonstrate that the wage rates of workers using the same skills and doing the same jobs differ by as much as 10 to 1, and that these gaps declined over the period 2000-2007, but with much less progress since the Great Recession.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 1384.
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
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wage rate; nominal wage; workers; living standards;
Other versions of this item:
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
- C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
- O57 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-12-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-HME-2013-12-15 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-HRM-2013-12-15 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2013-12-15 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2013-12-15 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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