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Do Employers Provide Insurance against Low Frequency Shocks? Industry Employment and Industry Wages

  • Paul J. Devereux

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

I use panel data to examine whether long-term changes in industry wages are positively related to long-term changes in industry employment. Previous research using repeated cross-sectional data found no systematic relationship between these variables. Using standard fixed effects models to deal with individual heterogeneity, I find a robust positive relationship between changes in composition-constant industry wages and industry employment. This suggests that growing industries attract less skilled individuals in a manner that biases down the estimated relationship between industry employment and wages in repeated cross-sectional data. The results imply that supply curves facing industries are elastic but upward sloping.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 313-340

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:23:y:2005:i:2:p:313-340
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  1. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2002. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-35, CIRANO.
  2. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  3. Helwege, Jean, 1992. "Sectoral Shifts and Interindustry Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 55-84, January.
  4. William J. Carrington, 1993. "Wage Losses for Displaced Workers: Is It Really the Firm That Matters?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 435-462.
  5. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  6. MarkMcLaughlin Bils & Kenneth J., 1992. "Inter-industry Mobility and the Cyclical Upgrading of Labor," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 81, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  7. Shaw, Kathryn L, 1989. "Wage Variability in the 1970s: Sectoral Shifts or Cyclical Sensitivi ty," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 26-36, February.
  8. Gary Solon & Robert Barsky & Jonathan A. Parker, 1992. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Composition Bias," NBER Working Papers 4202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
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