IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Study in Structural Change: Relative Earnings in Wales Since the 1970s


  • Gavin Cameron
  • John Muellbauer
  • Jonathan Snicker


The Welsh economy has undergone rapid structural change in recent years. This paper uses data from the New Earnings Survey to examine how earnings in Wales changed relative to those of Great Britain between 1975 and 1994. There are five main findings. First, earnings of workers in Wales have declined relative to those in Great Britain. Second, the shift away from full-time men has been an important factor in the fall in average relative earnings. Third, the decline in the relative earnings of full-time men is mostly explained by falling relative earnings in construction, distribution and transport, as well as the failure of workers in banking and financial services in Wales to keep up with their counterparts in Great Britain. Fourth, the shift in full-time employment to health, education and other services has tended to support relative earnings. Fifth, the decline in full-time men's earnings relative to Great Britain seems to have been caused by long-run factors that are unlikely to naturally reverse themselves. Dans les annees recentes, l'economie galloise a subi un changement structurel rapide. A partir des donnees provenant de la New Earnings Survey (une enquete aupres des salaires), cet article cherche a examiner l'evolution des salaires aux pays de Galles par rapport a l'evolution des salaires que touchent les travailleurs britanniques entre 1977 et 1994. On en a tire les cinq conclusions suivantes. En premier, les salaires des travailleurs gallois ont diminue par rapport a ceux des travailleurs britanniques. En deuxieme, la baisse des salaires relatifs moyens s'explique essentiellement par le declin de l'emploi masculin a plein temps. En troisieme, la baisse des salaires relatifs de l'emploi masculin s'explique en large partie par la diminution des salaires relatifs de ceux qui travaillent dans la construction, la distribution et le transport, aussi bien que par le fait que les salaires de ceux qui travaillent dans le secteur financier aux pays de Galles n'ont pas pris le meme chemin que ceux de leurs homologues britanniques. En quatrieme, le passage de l'emploi aux services de sante, d'education et a d'autres services a eu tendance a soutenir les salaires relatifs. En cinquieme, il semble que, par rapport a la Grande-Bretagne, la baisse des salaires de l'emploi masculin a plein temps remonte aux variables a long terme et il est peu probable qu'il y ait un renversement de tendance naturel. Die walisische Wirtschaft ist in den letzten Jahren raschem strukturellen Umstellungen unterworfen gewesen. Dieser Aufsatz benutzt Daten der Neuen Einkommensubersicht (New Earnings Survey) zur Untersuchung von Einkommensanderungen in Wales im Verhaltnis zu denen in Grossbritannien uberhaupt im Zeitraum 1975-1994. Es ergaben sich funf Hauptbefunde: Erstens sind Einkommen in Wales im Verhaltnis zu denen Grossbritanniens gesunken. Zweitens stellte sich die Ablosung der Vollzeitbeschaftigung von Mannern als ein bedeutender Faktor im Absinken relativer Durchschnittseinkommen heraus. Drittens erklart sich der Ruckgang in relativen Einkommen vollzeitig erwerbstatiger Manner grosstenteils durch nachlassenden relativen Verdienst im Bau-, Vertriebs- und Verkehrswesen, wie auch durch den vergeblichen Versuch der in Banken und anderen Finanzinstituten in Wales Beschaftigten, es ihren Kollegen in Grossbritannien gleich zu tun. Viertens neigte die Verlagerung der Erwerbstatigkeit auf die Gebiete Gesundheitswesen, Schulerziehung und andere Dienstleistungen dazu, relative Einkornmen zu fordern. Funftens scheint das Absinken der Einkommen vollzeitig beschaftigter Manner im Verhaltnis zu Grossbritannien durch seit langem bestehende Faktoren verursacht worden zu sein, von denen kaum anzunehmen ist, dass sie auf naturliche Art rucklaufig werden.

Suggested Citation

  • Gavin Cameron & John Muellbauer & Jonathan Snicker, 2002. "A Study in Structural Change: Relative Earnings in Wales Since the 1970s," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 1-11.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:1:p:1-11
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400120099816

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, January.
    2. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 1998. "The Housing Market and Regional Commuting and Migration Choices," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(4), pages 420-446, September.
    3. Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 1997. "Booms and Busts in the UK Housing Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1701-1727, November.
    4. Nicole M. Fortin & Michael Baker, 1999. "Women's Wages in Women's Work: A U.S./Canada Comparison of the Roles of Unions and "Public Goods" Sector Jobs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 198-203, May.
    5. Robert Rowthorn, 2000. "The Political Economy of Full Employment in Modern Britain," Working Papers wp164, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    6. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 2000. "Earnings Biases in the United Kingdom Regional Accounts: Some Economic Policy and Research Implications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages 412-429, June.
    7. repec:sae:niesru:v:142:y::i:1:p:88-98 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. John Lovering, 1999. "Theory Led by Policy: The Inadequacies of the 'New Regionalism' (Illustrated from the Case of Wales)," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 379-395, June.
    9. Blackaby, D H & Manning, D N, 1992. "Regional Earnings and Unemployment--A Simultaneous Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(4), pages 481-501, November.
    10. Gavin Cameron & John Muellbauer, 2001. "Earnings, unemployment, and housing in Britain," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 203-220.
    11. David Wilkinson, 1992. "Has the North—South divide come to an end?—Prospects for regional unemployment," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 142(1), pages 88-98, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:1002-:d:101050 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Earnings; Unemployment; Wales; Structural Change; New Earnings Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:1:p:1-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.