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The Declining Labor Share of Income

Author

Listed:
  • Francisco Rodriguez

    () (Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme)

  • Arjun Jayadev

    () (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Abstract

We use two distinct panel datasets to extract and examine data on the labor share of output. From the first, we examine trends in the economy-wide labor share and from the second, we examine trends in the labor share of the manufacturing sector over the last three decades. Both datasets show that labor shares have decreased, starting from about 1980, in most regions of the world. This finding is robust to adjustments for self-employment as well as adjustments for unbalanced panel structure. Furthermore, we present evidence that as a first approximation, this decrease is driven by declines in intra sector labor shares as opposed to movements in activity towards sectors with lower labor shares.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Rodriguez & Arjun Jayadev, 2010. "The Declining Labor Share of Income," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-36, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2010-36
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    File URL: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2010/papers/HDRP_2010_36.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Branko Milanovic, 2003. "The Ricardian Vice: Why Sala-i-Martin’s calculations of world income inequality are wrong," HEW 0305003, EconWPA.
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    3. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Measuring Labor's Share," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 45-51, May.
    4. Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Nora Lustig, 2009. "The recent decline of inequality in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru," Working Papers 140, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    2. Mehmet Ugur, 2013. "Governance, market power and innovation: evidence from OECD countries," Chapters,in: Governance, Regulation and Innovation, chapter 2, pages 25-57 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Obst, Thomas., 2014. "Long-term trends in income distribution a global perspective," ILO Working Papers 994869353402676, International Labour Organization.
    4. Hemous, David & Olsen, Morten, 2014. "The Rise of the Machines: Automation, Horizontal Innovation and Income Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 10244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Jan Behringer & Till van Treeck, 2013. "Income distribution and current account: A sectoral perspective," IMK Working Paper 125-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    6. Christian A. Belabed & Thomas Theobald & Till van Treeck, 2013. "Income Distribution and Current Account Imbalances," IMK Working Paper 126-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:486935 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Trapp Katharina, 2015. "Measuring the Labour Income Share of Developing Countries: Learning From Social Accounting Matrices," WIDER Working Paper Series 041, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Graetz, Georg & Feng, Andy, 2014. "Rise of the Machines: The Effects of Labor-Saving Innovations on Jobs and Wages," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100401, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Ugur, Mehmet, 2012. "Market Power, Governance and Innovation: OECD Evidence," MPRA Paper 44141, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. repec:ilo:ilowps:484122 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. J. Stephen Ferris, 2012. "The Relationship Between Government Size and Economic Performance with Particular Application to New Zealand," Carleton Economic Papers 12-06, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 25 Apr 2013.
    13. Naude, Wim & Nagler, Paula, 2015. "Industrialisation, Innovation, Inclusion," MERIT Working Papers 043, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. D., Ivan, 2017. "Stability of the labour shares: evidence from OECD economies," MPRA Paper 79822, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Peter Paz & Carlos Urrutia, 2015. "Economic Growth and Wage Stagnation in Peru: 1998–2012," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 328-345, May.
    16. Loukas Karabarbounis & Brent Neiman, 2012. "Declining Labor Shares and the Global Rise of Corporate Saving," NBER Working Papers 18154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Paul Maarek & Elsa Orgiazzi, 2014. "Labor Share and development," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201410, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    18. Mathieu Dufour & Ozgur Orhangazi, 2009. "The 2000-2001 Financial Crisis in Turkey: A Crisis for Whom?," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 101-122.
    19. Dünhaupt, Petra., 2013. "Determinants of functional income distribution : theory and empirical evidence," ILO Working Papers 994841223402676, International Labour Organization.
    20. Thomas Goda, 2013. "Changes in income inequality from a global perspective: An overview," Working Papers PKWP1303, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).
    21. Namkee Ahn & Victoria Ateca-Amestoy & Arantza Ugidos, 2014. "Financial Satisfaction from an Intra-Household Perspective," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1109-1123, October.
    22. Paul Maarek & Elsa Orgiazzi, 2015. "Development and the labor share," THEMA Working Papers 2015-09, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    23. Josef C. Brada & El-hadj Bah, 2014. "Growing Income Inequality as a Challenge to 21st Century Capitalism," a/ Working Papers Series 1402, Italian Association for the Study of Economic Asymmetries, Rome (Italy).
    24. Khan, Hashmat & Kim, Bae-Geun, 2013. "Markups and oil prices in Canada," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 799-813.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Factor Shares; Human Development; Human Development Index; Labor Shares; Self-Employment;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • 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
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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