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Accounting for wage and employment changes in the US from 1968-2000: A dynamic model of labor market equilibrium

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  • Lee, Donghoon
  • Wolpin, Kenneth I.

Abstract

In this article, we present a unified treatment of and explanation for the evolution of wages and employment in the US over the last 30 years. Specifically, we account for the pattern of changes in wage inequality, for the increased relative wage and employment of women, for the emergence of the college wage premium and for the shift in employment from the goods to the service-producing sector. The underlying theory we adopt is neoclassical, a two-sector competitive labor market economy in which the supply of and demand for labor of heterogeneous skill determines spot market skill rental prices. The empirical approach is structural. The model embeds many of the features that have been posited in the literature to have contributed to the changing US wage and employment structure including skill-biased technical change, capital-skill complementarity, changes in relative product-market prices, changes in the productivity of labor in home production and demographics such as changing cohort size and fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Donghoon & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 2010. "Accounting for wage and employment changes in the US from 1968-2000: A dynamic model of labor market equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 68-85, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:156:y:2010:i:1:p:68-85
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Male-female wage differential Wage inequality College wage premium;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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