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Labor Market Institutions, Wages and Investment

  • Jörn-Steffen Pischke

Labor market institutions, via their effect on the wage structure, affect the investmentdecisions of firms in labor markets with frictions. This observation helps explain rising wageinequality in the US, but a relatively stable wage structure in Europe in the 1980s. Thesedifferent trends are the result of different investment decisions by firms for the jobs typicallyheld by less skilled workers. Firms in Europe have more incentives to invest in less skilledworkers, because minimum wages or union contracts mandate that relatively high wages haveto be paid to these workers. I report some empirical evidence for investments in training andphysical capital across the Atlantic, which is roughly in line with this theoretical reasoning.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0652.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0652
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-08, May.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F112-42, February.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2002. "Minimum wages and on-the-job training," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20084, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2003. "Work-related training and the new National Minimum Wage in Britain -ISER Working Paper-," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  5. Arulampalam, Wiji & Alison L Booth & Mark L Bryan, 2003. "Work-related Training and the New National Minimum Wage in Britain," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 9, Royal Economic Society.
  6. Acemoglu, D. & Pischke, J.S., 1997. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Working papers 97-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F121-F149, February.
  9. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1998. "Minimum Wages and Training Revisited," NBER Working Papers 6651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2005. "Do Cognitive Test Scores Explain Higher U.S. Wage Inequality?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 184-193, February.
  11. Christian Dustmann & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Training and Union Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 363-376, May.
  12. Richard B. Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2000. "Skill Compression, Wage Differentials and Employment: Germany vs. the US," NBER Working Papers 7610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. repec:rus:hseeco:57408 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "A Picture of European Unemployment: Success and Failure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0577, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  15. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training and the new minimum wage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C87-C94, 03.
  16. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
  17. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1996. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," NBER Working Papers 5487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "Observations and Conjectures on the U.S. Employment Miracle," NBER Working Papers 6146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
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