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Explaining Movements in the Labor Share

  • Bentollia, S.
  • Saint-Paul, G.

In this paper we study the evolution of the labor share in the OECD since 1970. We show it is essentially related to the capital-output ratio; that this relationship is shifted by factors like the price of imported materials or the skill mix; and that discrepancies between the marginal product of labor and the real wage (due to, e.g., product market power, union bargaining, and labor adjustment costs) cause departures from it. We provide estimates of the model with panel data on 14 industries and 14 countries for 1973-93 and use them to compute the evolution of the wage gap in Germany and the US.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros- in its series Papers with number 9905.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:cemfdt:9905
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Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros. Casado del Alisal, 5-28014 Madrid, Spain.

Phone: 914290551
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Web page: http://www.cemfi.es/
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  1. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  2. Blanchard, Olivier, 1998. "Revisiting European Unemployment : Unemployment, Capital Accumulation and Factor Prices," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GLS28.
  3. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  4. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  5. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
  6. Caballero, R.J. & Hammour, M.L., 1997. "Jobless Growth: Appropriability, Factor-Substitution, and Unemployment," Working papers 97-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 3206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
  10. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
  11. Nickell, Stephen J, 1977. "The Influence of Uncertainty on Investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 47-70, March.
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