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Transatlantic Differences in Labour Markets: Changes in Wage and Non‐Employment Structures in the 1980s and the 1990s

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  • Patrick A. Puhani

Abstract

. Rising wage inequality in the United States and Britain and rising continental European unemployment have led to a popular view in the economics profession that these two phenomena are related to negative relative demand shocks against the unskilled, combined with flexible wages in the Anglo‐Saxon countries, but wage rigidities in continental Europe (‘Krugman hypothesis’). This paper tests this hypothesis based on seven large person‐level data sets for the 1980s and the 1990s. I use a more sophisticated categorization of low‐skilled workers than previous studies, which exhibits differences between German workers with and without apprenticeship training, particularly in the 1980s. I find evidence for the Krugman hypothesis when Germany is compared with the United States. However, supply changes differ considerably between countries, with Britain experiencing enormous increases in skill supply explaining the relatively constant British skill premium in the 1990s.

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  • Patrick A. Puhani, 2008. "Transatlantic Differences in Labour Markets: Changes in Wage and Non‐Employment Structures in the 1980s and the 1990s," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 312-338, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:9:y:2008:i:3:p:312-338
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0475.2008.00435.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Nathalie Chusseau & Michel Dumont, 2013. "Growing Income Inequalities in Advanced Countries," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Joël Hellier & Nathalie Chusseau (ed.), Growing Income Inequalities, chapter 1, pages 13-47, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Fei Peng & Lili Kang, 2013. "Labor Market Institutions and Skill Premiums: An Empirical Analysis on the UK, 1972-2002," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(4), pages 959-982.
    3. Patrick A. Puhani, 2008. "Transatlantic Differences in Labour Markets: Changes in Wage and Non‐Employment Structures in the 1980s and the 1990s," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 312-338, August.
    4. Patrick A. Puhani, 2008. "Transatlantic Differences in Labour Markets: Changes in Wage and Non‐Employment Structures in the 1980s and the 1990s," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 312-338, August.
    5. Nathalie Chusseau & Michel Dumont, 2012. "Growing Income Inequalities in Advanced," Working Papers hal-00993359, HAL.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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