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Measuring labor’s share of income

  • Paul Gomme
  • Peter Rupert

Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data show labor’s share of income at a historic low. This Policy Discussion Paper explores the BLS calculations with an eye to understanding the factors leading to the recent fall in labor’s share. While data limitations prohibit replication of the BLS series, alternative measures of labor’s share of income, based on either the nonfinancial corporate business sector or the macroeconomy more generally, are near their historic averages, quite unlike the BLS series.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its journal Policy Discussion Papers.

Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): Nov ()

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcpd:y:2004:i:nov:n:7
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  1. Gomme, P. & Greenwood, J., 1992. "On the Cyclical Allocation of Risk," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9205, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  2. Michele Boldrin & Michael Horvath, 1994. "Labor Contracts and Business Cycles," Discussion Papers 1068, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. James M. Poterba, 1999. "The Rate of Return to Corporate Capital and Factor Shares: New EstimatesUsing Revised National Income Accounts and Capital Stock Data," NBER Working Papers 6263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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