Increasing Male Earnings Inequality in Canada and the United States, 19811997: The Role of Hours Changes versus Wage Changes
This paper looks at changes in hourly wages and hours worked per week of prime-age males in different skill groups (measured by earnings quintile) in the United States and Canada from 1981 to 1997. The analysis reveals that increases in hourly wage inequality are primarily responsible for increases in weekly earnings inequality in both countries. Increases in the dispersion of hours worked per week play a more important part in explaining the increase in earnings inequality in Canada than in the United States. High-skill workers experienced increases in earnings growth due to increases in hours and, at least for the US, increases in wages. In contrast, low-skill workers experienced declines in earnings growth due to decreases in wages and hours. This evidence is consistent with a skill-biased demand shock. In Canada a larger percentage of the reduction in earnings of low-skill workers is accounted for by declining hours. This evidence suggests a higher degree of downward wage rigidity in Canada than in the United States.
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Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kevin M. Murphy & W. Craig Riddell & Paul M. Romer, 1998. "Wages, Skills, and Technology in the United States and Canada," NBER Working Papers 6638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wasmer, Etienne, 2001.
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- Wood Júnior, Thomaz, 1995. "Workers," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 35(2), January.
- Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
- Morissette, Rene, 1995. "Why Has Inequality in Weekly Earnings Increased in Canada?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995080e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1993. "Inequality and Relative Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 104-109, May.
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