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Firm Heterogeneity in Capital labor Ratios and Wage Inequality

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  • Leonardi, Marco

Abstract

This paper documents the increasing dispersion of capital-labor ratios across firms in the US and provides some empirical evidence of a positive correlation at the two-digit industry level between the dispersion of capital-labor ratios across firms and residual wage inequality. To explain this empirical fact, the paper adopts a search model where firms differ in their optimal capital investment. The exogenous decline in the relative price of equipment capital makes the distributions of capital-labor ratios more dispersed. In a frictional labor market, this force generates wage dispersion among identical workers. OLS estimates of the relationship between capital dispersion and the relative price of equipment capital support the main hypothesis of the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardi, Marco, 2005. "Firm Heterogeneity in Capital labor Ratios and Wage Inequality," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt1g9514wh, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt1g9514wh
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Emami Namini, Julian & Facchini, Giovanni & Lopez, Ricardo, 2011. "Export growth and factor market competition: theory and evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 8256, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Keiko Ito & Sébastien Lechevalier, 2009. "The evolution of the productivity dispersion of firms: a reevaluation of its determinants in the case of Japan," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 405-429, October.
    3. Silvio Contessi & Francesca de Nicola & Li Li, 2014. "International trade, female labor and entrepreneurship in MENA countries," Chapters,in: The Economic and Political Aftermath of the Arab Spring, chapter 4, pages 106-140 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Yip, Chi Man, 2010. "Can't SBTC explain the U.S. wage inequality dynamics?," MPRA Paper 31198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Silvio Contessi & Pierangelo De Pace, 2011. "The (non-)resiliency of foreign direct investment in the United States during the 2007-2009 financial crisis," Working Papers 2011-037, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    6. Yannick Kalantzis & Ryo Kambayashi & Sébastien Lechevalier, 2012. "Wage and Productivity Differentials in Japan: The Role of Labor Market Mechanisms," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 26(4), pages 514-541, December.
    7. Emami Namini, Julian, 2014. "The short and long-run impact of globalization if firms differ in factor input ratios," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 37-64.
    8. Julian Emami Namini, 2009. "International Trade with Firm Heterogeneity in Factor Shares," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-020/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:1:p:260-280 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Julian Emami Namini & Giovanni Facchini & Ricardo A. Lopez, 2011. "Export Growth and Factor Market Competition: Theory and Some Evidence," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-013/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. Mauro Caselli, 2014. "Trade, skill-biased technical change and wages in Mexican manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 336-348, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage Inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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