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Labour Market Institutions and the Personal Distribution of Income in the OECD

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  • Daniele Checchi
  • Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa

Abstract

We examine the determinants of differences across countries and over time in the distribution of personal incomes in the OECD. The Gini coefficient of personal incomes can be expressed as a function of the wage differential, the labour share, and the unemployment rate, hence labour market institutions are an essential determinant of the distribution of income, although the sign of their impact is ambiguous. We use a panel of OECD countries for the period 1970-96 to examine these effects. We find, first, that the labour share remains an important determinant of overall inequality patterns, and, second, that stronger unions and a more generous unemployment benefit tend to reduce income inequality. High capital-labour ratios also emerge as a strong equalising factor, which has in part offset the impact of increasing wage inequality on the US distribution of personal incomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Checchi & Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa, 2005. "Labour Market Institutions and the Personal Distribution of Income in the OECD," CESifo Working Paper Series 1608, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1608
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rémi Bazillier & Nicolas Sirven, 2006. "Les normes fondamentales du travail contribuent-elles à réduire les inégalités ?," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 21(2), pages 111-146.
    2. Atolia, Manoj & Chatterjee, Santanu & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2012. "Growth and inequality: Dependence on the time path of productivity increases (and other structural changes)," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 331-348.
    3. Emilie Daudey & Bruno Decreuse, 2006. "Higher education, employers' monopsony power and the labour share in OECD countries," Working Papers halshs-00409674, HAL.
    4. Drugeon, Jean-Pierre & Nourry, Carine & Venditti, Alain, 2010. "On efficiency and local uniqueness in two-sector OLG economies," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 120-144, January.
    5. Remi Bazillier & Nicolas Sirven, 2008. "Is There a Social Kuznets Curve? The Influence of Labour Standards on Inequality," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(7), pages 913-934.
    6. Bucci, Alberto & Parello, Carmelo Pierpaolo, 2009. "Horizontal innovation-based growth and product market competition," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 213-221, January.
    7. Conrad Scheibe, 2016. "Fiscal Consolidations and Their Effects on Income Inequality," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 2016-4, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    8. Giuseppe Bertola, 2010. "Inequality, integration, and policy: issues and evidence from EMU," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(3), pages 345-365, September.
    9. Wen Hao Chen & Michael Förster & Ana Llena-Nozal, 2013. "Globalisation, technological progress and changes in regulations and institutions – which impact on the rise of earnings inequality in OECD countries?," LIS Working papers 597, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    10. Heijdra, Ben J. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2010. "The Transitional Dynamics Of Fiscal Policy In Small Open Economies," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 1-28, February.
    11. Anna Batyra & David de la Croix & Olivier Pierrard & Henri Sneessens, 2016. "Structural changes in the labor market and the rise of early retirement in Europe," DEM Discussion Paper Series 16-13, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    12. Domenico Rossignoli, 2015. "Too many and too much? Special-interest groups and inequality at the turn of the century," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 130(3), pages 337-366.
    13. Elsa Orgiazzi & Paul Maarek, 2010. "Which factor bears the cost of currency crises?," 2010 Meeting Papers 810, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Eric O'N. Fisher & Sharon L. May, 2006. "Relativity in Trade Theory: Towards a Solution to the Mystery of Missing Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 1818, CESifo.
    15. Simone Bertoli & Francesco Farina, 2007. "The functional distribution of income: a review of the theoretical literature and of the empirical evidence around its recent pattern in European countries," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 005, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
    16. Piekkola, Hannu, 2002. "From Creative destruction to Human Capital Growth: Wage Dispersion Effects in Finland," Discussion Papers 822, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; labour share; trade unions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution

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