IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/germec/v9y2008i3p312-338.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0475.2008.00435.x
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.1468-0475.2008.00435.x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eli Bekman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279.
    2. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Business cycle fluctuations in us macroeconomic time series," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-64, Elsevier.
    3. Leung, Siu Fai & Yu, Shihti, 1996. "On the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 197-229.
    4. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2000. "Interindustry and Interregion Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 516-521, August.
    5. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    6. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 121-149, February.
    7. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 2004. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 689-722, July.
    8. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
    9. Rebecca M. Blank & David E. Card, 1991. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-1189.
    10. Paul R. Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 79(Q IV), pages 23-43.
    11. Thomas Bauer & Holger Bonin & Lorenz Goette & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Micro Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 508-529, November.
    12. John Van Reenen, 2001. "No more skivvy schemes? Active labour market policies and the British New Deal for the young unemployed in context," IFS Working Papers W01/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    13. Peter Dolton & Donal O'Neill, 2002. "The Long-Run Effects of Unemployment Monitoring and Work-Search Programs: Experimental Evidence from the United Kingdom," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 381-403, Part.
    14. Freeman, Richard & Schettkat, Ronald, 2001. "Skill Compression, Wage Differentials, and Employment: Germany vs the US," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 582-603, July.
    15. Stephen Machin, 1998. "Recent shifts in wage inequality and the wage returns to education in Britain," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 166(1), pages 87-96, October.
    16. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
    17. Thomas Beissinger & Christoph Knoppik, 2001. "Downward Nominal Rigidity in West German Earnings, 1975–95," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(4), pages 385-417, November.
    18. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
    19. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
    20. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    21. Bernd Fitzenberger & Aderonke Osikominu & Robert Völter, 2006. "Imputation Rules to Improve the Education Variable in the IAB Employment Subsample," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(3), pages 405-436.
    22. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
    23. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    24. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
    25. repec:sae:niesru:v:166:y::i:1:p:87-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    27. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    28. Peter Gottschalk & Mary Joyce, 1998. "Cross-National Differences In The Rise In Earnings Inequality: Market And Institutional Factors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 489-502, November.
    29. Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
    30. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-308, May.
    31. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
    32. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2000. "The Decline In Demand For Unskilled Labor: An Empirical Analysis Method And Its Application To France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 596-607, November.
    33. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Puhani, Patrick A., 2003. "A Test of the 'Krugman Hypothesis' for the United States, Britain, and Western Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-18, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    2. 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.
    3. Patrick A. Puhani, 2002. "The Rise and Fall of Swiss Unemployment - Relative Demand Shocks, Wage Rigidities, and Temporary Immigrants," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-29, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    4. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 121-149, February.
    5. Puhani, Patrick A., 2001. "Wage Rigidities in Western Germany? Microeconometric Evidence from the 1990s," IZA Discussion Papers 334, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Puhani, Patrick A, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of Swiss Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3828, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Jeff Borland, 2000. "Economic Explanations of Earnings Distribution Trends in the International Literature and Application to New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/16, New Zealand Treasury.
    8. Patrick A. Puhani, 2005. "Relative Supply and Demand for Skills in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(IV), pages 555-584, December.
    9. Sonja Jovicic, 2015. "Wage Inequality, Skill Inequality, and Employment: Evidence from PIAAC," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP15007, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    10. Batyra, Anna & Sneessens, Henri R., 2010. "Selective reductions in labor taxation: Labor market adjustments and macroeconomic performance," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 531-543, July.
    11. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," NBER Working Papers 11627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2004. "Labor Market Institutions, Wages and Investment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0652, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Steiner, Viktor & Mohr, Robert, 1998. "Industrial change, stability of relative earnings, and substitution of unskilled labor in West-Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-22, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    14. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "Understanding the Technology of Computer Technology Diffusion: Explaining Computer Adoption Patterns and Implications for the Wage Structure," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 17(3-4), pages 37-70, September.
    15. Arnaud Dupuy & Lex Borghans, 2005. "Supply and demand, allocation and wage inequality: an international comparison," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(9), pages 1073-1088.
    16. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "Understanding the Technology of Computer Technology Diffusion: Explaining Computer Adoption Patterns and Implications for the Wage Structure," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 17(3-4), pages 37-70, September.
    17. Spitz, Alexandra, 2004. "Are Skill Requirements in the Workplace Rising? Stylized Facts and Evidence on Skill-Biased Technological Change," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-33, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    18. Thomas Moutos, 2006. "Technological Change, Inequality And Work Sharing," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(3), pages 305-318, July.
    19. Dohmen, T.J. & Falk, A. & Huffman, D. & Marklein, F. & Sunde, U., 2008. "Biased probability judgment: representative evidence for pervasiveness and economic outcomes," ROA Research Memorandum 009, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    20. Cholezas, Ioannis & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2007. "Earnings Inequality in Europe: Structure and Patterns of Inter-Temporal Changes," IZA Discussion Papers 2636, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:9:y:2008:i:3:p:312-338. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfsocea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfsocea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.