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Wage inequality and overeducation in a model with efficiency wages

  • Peter Skott

This paper shows that the existence and persistence of `overeducation' can be explained by an extension of the efficiency wage model. When calibrated to fit the amounts of overeducation found in most empirical studies, the model implies that both the relative wage and the relative employment of high-skill workers depend inversely on aggregate economic activity. Keeping aggregate employment constant, furthermore, low-skill unemployment rises, following an increase in the relative supply of high-skill labour, and relative wages may be insensitive to changes in relative labour supplies. The model may help to explain rising wage inequality in some countries since the early 1970s.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 94-123

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:39:y:2006:i:1:p:94-123
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  1. 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.
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  13. Peter Skott, 2004. "Fairness as a source of hysteresis in employment and relative wages," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-04, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
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