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Privatization, Entry Regulation and the Decline of Labour's Share of GDP: A Cross-Country Analysis of the Network Industries

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  • Azmat, Ghazala
  • Manning, Alan
  • Van Reenen, John

Abstract

Labour's share of GDP in most OECD countries has declined over the last two decades. Some authors have suggested that these changes are linked to deregulation of product and labour markets. To examine this we focus on a large quasi-experiment in the OECD: the privatization of many network industries (e.g. telecommunications and utilities). We present a model with agency problems, imperfect product market competition and worker bargaining which makes clear predictions on how the labour share, employment and wages respond to privatization and other regulatory changes. We exploit cross-country panel data on several network industries and find that privatization can account for a significant proportion of the fall of labour's share (a fifth overall, but over half in Britain and France). The impact of privatization has been offset by falling barriers to entry, which consistent with theory, dampens profit margins.

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  • Azmat, Ghazala & Manning, Alan & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Privatization, Entry Regulation and the Decline of Labour's Share of GDP: A Cross-Country Analysis of the Network Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 6348, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6348
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    2. Maarek, Paul, 2012. "Labor share, informal sector and development," MPRA Paper 38756, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Georgios Argitis & Stella Michopoulou, 2011. "Are Full Employment and Social Cohesion Possible Under Financialization?," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 139-155, July.
    4. Remi Bazillier & Boris Najman, 2017. "Labour and Financial Crises: Is Labour Paying the Price of the Crisis?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 59(1), pages 55-76, March.
    5. Bassanini, Andrea & Brunello, Giorgio, 2011. "Barriers to entry, deregulation and workplace training: A theoretical model with evidence from Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1152-1176.
    6. Antonio Bassanetti & Roberto Torrini & Francesco Zollino, "undated". "Changing Institutions in the European Market: the Impact on Mark-ups and Rents Allocation," Working Papers 11, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
    7. Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2014. "The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(12), pages 2859-2885, December.
    8. Ziyu Liu & Yanlin Yang, 2020. "Impact of Development Zone Construction on Labor Share in China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(9), pages 1-22, May.
    9. Luciano BOGGIO & Vincenzo DALL’AGLIO & Marco MAGNANI, 2010. "On Labour Shares in Recent Decades: A Survey," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 118(3), pages 283-333.
    10. Poggi, Ambra & Florio, Massimo, 2010. "Energy deprivation dynamics and regulatory reforms in Europe: Evidence from household panel data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 253-264, January.
    11. Gustav A. Horn & Heike Joebges & Torsten Niechoj & Christian R. Proaño & Simon Sturn & Silke Tober & Achim Truger & Till van Treeck, 2009. "Von der Finanzkrise zur Weltwirtschaftskrise (I)," IMK Report 38-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    12. Chi, Wei & Qian, Xiaoye, 2013. "Regional disparity of labor's share in China: Evidence and explanation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 277-293.
    13. Askenazy, P. & Cette, G. & Maarek, P., 2012. "Rent building, rent sharing - A panel country-industry empirical analysis," Working papers 369, Banque de France.
    14. Carlo V. Fiorio & Massimo Florio, 2010. "A Fair Price for Energy? Ownership versus Market Opening in the EU15," CESifo Working Paper Series 3124, CESifo.
    15. Dorothee Schneider, 2011. "Bargaining, Openness, and the Labor Share," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-068, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    16. Mario Mansour & Mr. Michael Keen, 2009. "Revenue Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges from Globalization," IMF Working Papers 2009/157, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Changyuan Luo & Jun Zhang, 2010. "Declining Labor Share: Is China's Case Different?," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 18(6), pages 1-18, November.
    18. Jo Michell, 2014. "Factors generating and transmitting the financial crisis; Functional distribution of income," Working papers wpaper41, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    19. Giorgos Argitis & Stella Michopoulou, 2013. "Studies in Financial Systems No 4 Financialization and the Greek Financial System," FESSUD studies fstudy04, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entry Regulation; Labour share; Privatization; Wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

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