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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. 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," CEP Discussion Papers dp0584, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
  3. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2012. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," NBER Working Papers 18054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Peter K. Schott, 2006. "The Relative Sophistication of Chinese Exports," NBER Working Papers 12173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Davis, D.R. & Weinstein, D.E., 1999. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," Working Papers 435, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  7. Andrew Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2004. "Comparative advantage and heterogeneous firms," IFS Working Papers W04/24, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Courant, Paul N & Deardorff, Alan V, 1992. "International Trade with Lumpy Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 198-210, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Peter K. Schott, 2001. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," NBER Working Papers 8244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, March.
  18. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 101-136, January.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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