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Wage and Labor Mobility in Denmark, 1980-2000

In: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison

  • Tor Eriksson
  • Niels Westergaard-Nielsen

This paper consists of three parts. First, we briefly describe some key features of the labor market in Denmark, some of which contribute to the Danish labor markets behaving quite differently from those in many other European countries. The next two parts exploit detailed linked employer-employee data. In the second part we document in some detail an important aspect of the functioning and flexibility of the labor markets in Denmark: the high level of worker mobility. We show that mobility is about as high, or even higher, as in the highly fluid U.S. labor market. Finally, we describe and examine the wage structure between and within firms and changes therein since 1980, especially with an eye on possible impacts of the trend towards a more decentralized wage determination. The shift towards decentralized wage bargaining has coincided with deregulation and increased product market competition. The evidence is, however, not consistent with stronger competition in product markets eroding firm-specific rents. Hence, the prime suspect is the change in wage setting institutions.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2009. "The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number laze08-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 2368.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:2368
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Frederiksen, Anders & Westergaard-Nielsen, Niels, 2002. "Where did they go ?," CLS Working Papers 01-11, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
    2. Bolvig, Iben, 2004. "Within- and between-firm mobility in the low-wage labour market," Working Papers 04-11, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    3. Neumann, George & Pedersen, Peder J. & Westergard-Nielsen, Niels, 1991. "Long-run international trends in aggregate unionization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 249-274, October.
    4. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Donna S. Rothstein, 2005. "The Impact of Worker and Establishment-level Characteristics on Male-Female Wage Differentials: Evidence from Danish Matched Employee-Employer Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(1), pages 1-34, 03.
    5. Bingley, Paul & Lanot, Gauthier, 2004. "Employer pay policies, public transfers and the retirement decisions of men and women in Denmark," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 181-200, February.
    6. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
    7. Cuñat, Vicente & Guadalupe, Maria, 2006. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives Inside the Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 5950, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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