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Wage-Productivity Gap in Turkish Manufacturing Sector

  • Ceyhun Elgin
  • Tolga Umut Kuzubas

Perfectly competitive labor markets without distortionary taxes combined with a profit maximizing behavior of firms should imply that real wages should equal marginal product of labor (MPL). In this paper, we study the Turkish manufacturing industry and find that there exist a significant widening gap between real wages and marginal product of labor over the period 1950-2009. Using different time-series econometric techniques we show that this gap is foremost correlated with the unemployment rate over the period of study. To provide an economic mechanism for this relationship we build a search model of employment with endogenous bargaining. Our model implies that this observation is consistent with declining bargaining power of the workers, which is also supported by the data.

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Paper provided by Bogazici University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012/03.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bou:wpaper:2012/03
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  1. Hakan Berument & Nukhet Dogan & Aysit Tansel, 2008. "Macroeconomic Policy and Unemployment by Economic Activity: Evidence from Turkey," Working Papers 2008/7, Turkish Economic Association.
  2. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  3. Gregory, Allan W. & Hansen, Bruce E., 1996. "Residual-based tests for cointegration in models with regime shifts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-126, January.
  4. Emine Boz & Ceyhun Bora Durdu & Nan Li, 2012. "Emerging Market Business Cycles; The Role of Labor Market Frictions," IMF Working Papers 12/237, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Tasci, H. Mehmet & Tansel, Aysit, 2005. "Unemployment and Transitions in the Turkish Labor Market: Evidence from Individual Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1663, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2003. "Wage Bargaining with On-The-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Ipek Ilkkaracan & Raziye Selim, 2003. "The role of unemployment in wage determination: further evidence on the wage curve from Turkey," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(14), pages 1589-1598.
  8. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  9. Çiçek, Deniz & Elgin, Ceyhun, 2011. "Not-quite-great depressions of Turkey: A quantitative analysis of economic growth over 1968–2004," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2691-2700.
  10. Berument, Hakan & Dogan, Nukhet & Tansel, Aysit, 2005. "Economic Performance and Unemployment: Evidence from an Emerging Economy - Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 1614, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Gregory, Allan W & Hansen, Bruce E, 1996. "Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime and Trend Shifts," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(3), pages 555-60, August.
  12. McCall, John J, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-26, February.
  13. Altug, Sumru & Filiztekin, Alpay & Pamuk, Şevket, 2008. "Sources of long-term economic growth for Turkey, 1880–2005," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 393-430, December.
  14. Elgin, Ceyhun & Kuzubas, Tolga Umut, 2013. "Wage-productivity gap in OECD economies," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-18, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  15. Persky, Joseph & Tsang, Herbert, 1974. "Pigouvian Exploitation of Labor," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 52-57, February.
  16. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  17. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Giovanni Sulis, 2008. "Wage Dispersion and Equilibrium Search Models: Some Evidence from Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(4), pages 593-627, December.
  19. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Jensen, Henning Tarp & Verghis, Mathew & Yeldan, Erinc, 2006. "Disinflation, fiscal sustainability, and labor market adjustment in Turkey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3804, The World Bank.
  20. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Mika Maliranta, 2002. "Labour characteristics and wage-productivity gaps," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 73-74.
  21. Madeline Zavodny, 1999. "Unions and the wage-productivity gap," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 44-53.
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