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Wages and Employment in the United States and Germany: What Explains the Differences?

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  • Paul Beaudry
  • David A. Green

Abstract

Over the last 20 years the wage-education relationships in the United States and Germany have evolved very differently, while the education compositions of employment have evolved in a parallel fashion. In this paper, we show how these patterns shed light on the nature of recent technological change and highlight the importance of taking into account movements in the ratio of human capital to physical capital when examining changes in the returns to skill. Our analysis indicates that the United States could have prevented the increase in wage inequality observed in the 1980's by a faster accumulation of physical capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Beaudry & David A. Green, 2003. "Wages and Employment in the United States and Germany: What Explains the Differences?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 573-602, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:3:p:573-602
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803322156990
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