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The Role of Unemployment in Wage Determination: Further Evidence on the Wage Curve from Turkey




This paper presents an empirical estimation of the correlation between wages and regional unemployment rates in Turkey, more specifically it explores the role of regional unemployment rates in wage determination. The analysis builds upon a series of recent empirical studies on the wage-unemployment relationship, now commonly known as “the wage curve,” a downward sloping curve in wage-unemployment space. The existing studies are for most part in advanced market economies, while this paper presents one of the few attempts at a wage curve analysis within the context of a developing market economy. A cross-sectional estimation of micro level individual wage data for the Turkish labor market in 1994, suggest a statistically significant negative correlation between wages and regional unemployment rates. Separate regressions for men and women, however, show a wage curve to exist only in the male labor market. The study also presents the results on other variables of wage determination such as returns to schooling, returns to age, job tenure, gender, industrial and occupational affiliation of the worker, economic sector and union status.

Suggested Citation

  • Ipek Ilkaracan & Raziye Selim, 2002. "The Role of Unemployment in Wage Determination: Further Evidence on the Wage Curve from Turkey," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2002-11, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
  • Handle: RePEc:epa:cepawp:2002-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, January.
    2. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
    3. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-125, March.
    4. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Blackaby, David H & Hunt, Lester C, 1992. "The "Wage Curve" and Long-term Unemployment: A Cautionary Note," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 60(4), pages 419-428, December.
    6. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 285-299, June.
    7. Hoddinott, John, 1996. "Wages and Unemployment in an Urban African Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1610-1626, November.
    8. Janssens, Stefan & Konings, Jozef, 1998. "One more wage curve: the case of Belgium," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 223-227, August.
    9. Johansen, Kare, 1995. "Norwegian Wage Curves," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(2), pages 229-247, May.
    10. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe & Wolf, Katja, 2000. "The East German wage curve 1993-1998," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 25-31, October.
    11. Louis N. Christofides & Andrew J. Oswald, 1992. "Real Wage Determination and Rent-Sharing in Collective Bargaining Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 985-1002.
    12. Rebitzer, James B, 1988. "Unemployment, Labor Relations, and Unit Labor Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 389-394, May.
    13. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Víctor M. Montuenga-Gómez & José M. Ramos-Parreño, 2005. "Reconciling the Wage Curve and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 735-765, December.

    More about this item


    wage curve; unemployment; Turkey;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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