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O-ring Wage Inequality

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  • ALBERTO DALMAZZO
  • TUOMAS PEKKARINEN
  • PASQUALE SCARAMOZZINO

Abstract

We examine the relationship between technological complexity and wage inequality, using an efficiency wage model that adopts Kremer's O-ring production function. The model has two main implications: (i) when the production process becomes more complex, within-task wage differences increase between plants, and (ii) between-task wage differences increase within plants. We study these implications empirically using industry data providing quantified information on the complexity of the tasks. We find that wages increase in all the tasks with the complexity of the production process. Furthermore, the relationship between the complexity of the tasks and wages is steepest in the firms with more complex production processes. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Dalmazzo & Tuomas Pekkarinen & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 2007. "O-ring Wage Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(295), pages 515-536, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:74:y:2007:i:295:p:515-536
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    2. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferrarini, Benno & Scaramozzino, Pasquale, 2016. "Production complexity, adaptability and economic growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 52-61.
    2. Benno Ferrarini & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 2013. "Complexity, Specialization and Growth," CEIS Research Paper 275, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 30 Apr 2013.
    3. Li Yu & Peter F. Orazem, 2014. "O-Ring production on U.S. hog farms: joint choices of farm size, technology, and compensation," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 431-442, July.
    4. Fernández, Rosa M. & Nordman, Christophe J., 2009. "Are there pecuniary compensations for working conditions?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 194-207, April.
    5. Fumio Dei, 2010. "Peripheral Tasks Are Offshored," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 807-817, November.

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