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Recent trends in U.S. male work and wage patterns: An overview

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  • L. Buron
  • R. Haveman
  • O. O'Donnell

Abstract

This paper brings together figures on recent trends in the labor market activity and wages of working-age men in the United States over the 1967-1992 period. The data, which come from Current Population Surveys, reveal several important developments. Year-long joblessness, the percentage of men failing to participate in the labor force, and the proportion who were unemployed rose throughout the period. Part-time employment as a percentage of all forms of employment was also higher at the end of the period than at the beginning, and the average hours worked by full-time workers increased slightly. Finally, median and mean wages fell. None of the trends was due to changes in the racial, educational, and age composition of the male work force; in fact, if the racial/educational/age composition had remained the same over the period, labor market activity would have declined even further.

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Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty in its series Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers with number 1060-95.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1060-95

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  1. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  2. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
  3. Prithwis Gupta, 1978. "A general method of decomposing a difference between two rates into several components," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 99-112, February.
  4. Haveman, Robert H. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1984. "Disability transfers and early retirement: a casual relationship?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 47-66, June.
  5. Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Why is the Unemployment Rate So Very High near Full Employment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 339-396.
  6. David R. Howell, 1999. "Technological Change and the Demand for Skills in the 1980s: Does Skill Mismatch Explain the Growth of Low Earnings?," Macroeconomics, EconWPA 9907003, EconWPA.
  7. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1993. "Inequality and Relative Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 104-09, May.
  8. Clark, Kim B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1982. "Labour Force Participation: Timing and Persistence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 825-44, Special I.
  9. Parsons, Donald O, 1980. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 117-34, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Lawrence Buron & Robert Haveman & Owen O'Donnell, 1994. "The Utilization of U.S. Male Labor, 1975-1992: Estimates of Forgone Work Hours," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_123, Levy Economics Institute.

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