Does the Choice between Wage Inequality and Unemployment Affect Productivity Growth?
We present a non-scale continuous-time overlapping-generations growth model that provides an explanation for why economies with relative wage rigidity feature higher unemployment, but not slower productivity growth, than economies with flexible wages. The compression of the wage distribution associated with relative wage rigidity slows down human capital accumulation and growth ceteris paribus. But unemployment among the low-skilled workers strengthens the incentives to invest in human capital and, hence, growth. The two effects are offsetting, and growth is independent of the prevailing degree of relative wage rigidity. This knife-edge result is robust with respect to some modifications of the model. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2006.
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Volume (Year): 7 (2006)
Issue (Month): (02)
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