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Testing for Factor Price Equality with Unobserved Differences in Factor Quality or Productivity

  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Stephen J. Redding
  • Peter K. Schott

We develop a method for identifying departures from relative factor price equality that is robust to unobserved variation in factor productivity. We implement this method using data on the relative wage bills of non-production and production workers across 170 local labor markets comprising the continental United States for 1972, 1992 and 2007. We find evidence of statistically significant differences in relative wages in all three years. These differences increase in magnitude over time and are related to industry structure in a manner that is consistent with neoclassical models of production.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2012/CES-WP-12-32.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 12-32.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:12-32
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," NBER Working Papers 8598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. David S. Lee, 1999. "WAGE INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 1980s: RISING DISPERSION OR FALLING MINIMUM WAGE?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023, August.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Survival of the best fit: exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20028, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Leamer, Edward E, 1987. "Paths of Development in the Three-Factor, n-Good General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 961-99, October.
  6. Autor, David & Dorn, David & Hanson, Gordon H., 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 7150, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  8. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," NBER Working Papers 6785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," NBER Working Papers 10668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Courant, P.N. & Deardorff, A.V., 1989. "International Trade With Lumpy Countries," Papers 90-04, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  11. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 101-136, January.
  12. John Bound & Harry J. Holzer, 1996. "Demand Shifts, Population Adjustments, and Labor Market Outcomes during the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 5685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  14. Peter K. Schott, 2006. "The Relative Sophistication of Chinese Exports," NBER Working Papers 12173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Debaere, Peter, 2004. "Does lumpiness matter in an open economy?: Studying international economics with regional data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 485-501, December.
  16. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  17. Topel, Robert H, 1994. "Regional Labor Markets and the Determinants of Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 17-22, May.
  18. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
  19. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
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  21. Carlino, Gerald A. & Mills, Leonard O., 1993. "Are U.S. regional incomes converging? : A time series analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 335-346, November.
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