Decomposing Changes In Retail Food Wage Distributions, 1983-1998: A Semi-Parametric Analysis
What role has the growing practice of eating out rather than at home played in the evolution of wages in retail food? Between 1983 and 1998, real wages fell for nearly all types of grocery store employees, whether they were relatively well paid, poorly paid, or somewhere in the middle. This resulted in an eight and a half percent decrease in the average real wage, but unlike many other industries, there was no increase in wage inequality. The "food away from home trend" is apparently connected to the deterioration in grocery store wages for all employees except those earning somewhere in the top ten percent of wages. Without this change in consumer behavior, average real grocery store wages would have risen by seven percent rather than falling by 12 percent. While harmful to nearly all grocery store employees, this trend has benefited many workers in the restaurant industry, where the average real wage rose by nearly twenty five percent. Because this growth was not evenly distributed, occurring primarily in the upper part of the wage distribution, wage inequality in this segment of retail food increased. Moreover, the increase in the fast food sector during this period is associated with decreasing real wage levels, or slower wage growth, in both the grocery and restaurant industries. The labor market institutions of minimum wage laws and labor unionization are also found to be important determinants of wage trends in retail food. Part-time employment is associated with lower wage outcomes, but over the last 20 years, the frequency of part-time work in these two industries actually declines. Overall, however, labor market institutions and changing demographic characteristics still leave much of the observed changes in real wages in retail food unexplained. The data source for this analysis is the Current Population Survey, supplemented with secondary data sources.
|Date of creation:||1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 317 Classroom Office Building, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108-6040|
Web page: http://foodindustrycenter.umn.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Wessels, Walter John, 1997. "Minimum Wages and Tipped Servers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 334-49, April.
- Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
- Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
- Chinhui Juhn, 1999. "Wage Inequality and Demand for Skill: Evidence from Five Decades," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 424-443, April.
- Kinsey, Jean D. & Senauer, Benjamin & King, Robert P. & Phumpiu, Paul F., 1996. "Changes In Retail Food Delivery: Signals For Producers, Processors And Distributors," Working Papers 14352, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
- John W. Budd & Brian P. McCall, 2001.
"The Grocery Stores Wage Distribution: A Semi-Parametric Analysis of the Role of Retailing and Labor Market Institutions,"
Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 484-501, January.
- John W. Budd & Brian P. McCall, 2001. "The Grocery stores wage distribution: A semi-parametric analysis of the role of retailing and labor market institutions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 484-501, March.
- Budd, John W. & McCall, Brian P., 1999. "The Grocery Stores' Wage Distribution: A Semi-Parametric Analysis Of The Role Of Retailing And Labor Market Institutions," Working Papers 14347, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
- Gary Burtless, 1995. "International Trade and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 800-816, June.
- Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
- George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998.
"Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:umrfwp:14327. 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: (AgEcon Search)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.