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Real Wage Index Numbers

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  • John Pencavel

Abstract

Real wage index numbers have been used to measure movements in the standard of living of the typical worker. This paper describes some of these indicators for the United States and England. A new real wage index is proposed that resembles the sliding scale used to adjust wages in certain industries years ago. This new index is applied to US manufacturing industry and it implies a fall in real wages by about 40 percent since 1960. Workers' distributional position in US manufacturing has deteriorated considerably.

Suggested Citation

  • John Pencavel, 2011. "Real Wage Index Numbers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 565-570, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:565-70
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.565
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
    2. Albert Rees & Donald P. Jacobs, 1961. "Real Wages in Manufacturing, 1890-1914," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rees61-1.
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