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

  • Lee, Donghoon
  • Wolpin, Kenneth I.

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 156 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 68-85

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:156:y:2010:i:1:p:68-85
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Finis Welch, 2000. "Growth in Women's Relative Wages and in Inequality among Men: One Phenomenon or Two?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 444-449, May.
  2. Hornstein, Andreas & Krusell, Per & Violante, Giovanni L, 2005. "The Effects of Technical Change on Labour Market Inequalities," CEPR Discussion Papers 5025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2005. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Since 1975," NBER Working Papers 11159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  5. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  7. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  8. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Robert E. Baldwin & Glen G. Cain, 1997. "Shifts in U.S. Relative Wages: The Role of Trade, Technology and Factor Endowments," NBER Working Papers 5934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  11. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
  12. Zvi Eckstein & Éva Nagypál, 2004. "The evolution of U.S. earnings inequality: 1961?2002," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Dec, pages 10-29.
  13. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "The solution and estimation of discrete choice dynamic programming models by simulation and interpolation: Monte Carlo evidence," Staff Report 181, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
  15. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2006. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 1-46, 01.
  16. Donghoon Lee & Matthew Wiswall, 2007. "A Parallel Implementation of the Simplex Function Minimization Routine," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 171-187, September.
  17. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  18. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
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  22. Victor R. Fuchs, 1968. "The Service Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch68-1, October.
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