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

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

Volume (Year): 36 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-11

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Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:1:p:1-11
DOI: 10.1080/00343400120099816
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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, July.
  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. 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, 06.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Robert Rowthorn, 2000. "The Political Economy of Full Employment in Modern Britain," Working Papers wp164, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  10. 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.
  11. repec:sae:niesru:v:142:y::i:1:p:88-98 is not listed on IDEAS
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