The Wage-Productivity Gap Revisited: Is the Labour Share Neutral to Employment?
AbstractThis paper challenges the prevailing view of the neutrality of the labour income share to labour demand, and investigates its impact on the evolution of employment. Whilst maintaining the assumption of a unitary long-run elasticity of wages with respect to productivity, we demonstrate that productivity growth affects the labour share in the long run due to frictional growth (that is, the interplay of wage dynamics and productivity growth). In the light of this result, we consider a stylised labour demand equation and show that the labour share is a driving force of employment. We substantiate our analytical exposition by providing empirical models of wage setting and employment equations for France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US over the 1960-2008 period. Our findings show that the timevarying labour share of these countries has significantly influenced their employment trajectories across decades. This indicates that the evolution of the labour income share (or, equivalently, the wage-productivity gap) deserves the attention of policy makers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 668.
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Wages; Productivity; Labour income share; Employment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2010-07-17 (Business Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2010-07-17 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2010-07-17 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-MAC-2010-07-17 (Macroeconomics)
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.:
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