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Salaires relatifs et chômage : une analyse comparative France / Etats-Unis


  • Arnaud Lefranc


[fre] Cette étude compare l'évolution du marché du travail en France et aux États-Unis entre 1970 et 1993. Cette comparaison est menée d'un point de vue agrégé et par niveaux de qualification définis de manière homogène entre les deux pays. À long terme, les inégalités salariales globales diminuent en France alors qu'elles augmentent aux États-Unis. Ceci reflète des déformations opposées de la distribution des salaires. Les inégalités intergroupes connaissent-elles aussi des évolutions contraires. Enfin, à partir de l'étude jointe des distributions salariales et des taux de chômage, on tente d'évaluer l'impact de la compression salariale française sur le niveau élevé du taux de chômage. [eng] This paper compares the evolution of the French and American labor markets over the 1970-1993 period. We perform this comparison both at a macro and at a disaggregated level, where we distinguish between different groups of workers, defined by their skill-level, in a way that is consistent across countries. In the long run, wage inequality seems to diminish in France while it increases in the US. This reflects opposite movements in the wage distribution. The American experience of a shrinking middle class stands in marked contrast with the French evolution toward an increasing weight of the lower-median income groups. As far as between-group inequalities is concerned, we observe in both countries a different pattern in education premia. Yet, the joint study of wage distributions and unemployment rates shows little support for the view that lack of wage adjusment led to the French rise in low skilled unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Lefranc, 1997. "Salaires relatifs et chômage : une analyse comparative France / Etats-Unis," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 48(5), pages 1041-1060.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_1997_num_48_5_409930
    Note: DOI:10.3406/reco.1997.409930

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    2. Meyer, Robert H & Wise, David A, 1983. "Discontinuous Distributions and Missing Persons: The Minimum Wage and Unemployed Youth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1677-1698, November.
    3. Paul R. Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Jan, pages 49-98.
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