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Why has wage inequality increased more in the USA than in Europe? An empirical investigation of the demand and supply of skill

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  • Daniel Fernandez Kranz

Abstract

During the past two decades the wage gap between high and low skill labour has increased more in the USA than in many European countries. In this paper, the correspondence between occupation and education is used to construct aggregates of skill supply, skill demand and unemployment by skill group that are comparable across countries. Using individual data for years 1983-1994, it is found that the relative demand for skilled labour has increased to a similar extent in the USA and in Europe and that wage inequality remained low in Europe partly because the European relative supply of skill increased much faster than in the USA, and partly because European relative wages were rigid, which caused an increase in unemployment among the low-skilled.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Fernandez Kranz, 2006. "Why has wage inequality increased more in the USA than in Europe? An empirical investigation of the demand and supply of skill," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(7), pages 771-788.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:38:y:2006:i:7:p:771-788
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500396087
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
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    3. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "Observations and Conjectures on the U.S. Employment Miracle," NBER Working Papers 6146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
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    10. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daron Djerdjian, 2010. "Economics versus politics in trade policy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 146(2), pages 223-240, June.
    2. Cholezas, Ioannis & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2007. "Earnings Inequality in Europe: Structure and Patterns of Inter-Temporal Changes," IZA Discussion Papers 2636, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Matthew Johnson & Michael P. Keane, 2013. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of the US Wage Structure, 1968-1996," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-49.
    4. Afonso, Óscar & Thompson, Maria, 2011. "Costly investment, complementarities and the skill premium," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 2254-2262, September.
    5. Oscar Afonso, 2010. "Growth And Wage Inequality In A Scale-Independent Model With R&D And Human-Capital Accumulation," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 78(2), pages 149-182, March.
    6. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Menbere Shiferaw, 2011. "Decomposing the education wage gap: everything but the kitchen sink," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue July, pages 243-272.
    7. Afonso, Oscar & Neves, Pedro Cunha & Thompson, Maria, 2016. "The skill premium and economic growth with costly investment, complementarities and international trade of intermediate goods," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37, pages 73-86.
    8. repec:eee:ecmode:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:435-449 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Afonso, Oscar & Leite, Rui, 2010. "Learning-by-doing, technology-adoption costs and wage inequality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1069-1078, September.
    10. Afonso, Oscar, 2008. "The impact of government intervention on wage inequality without scale effects," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 351-362, March.

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