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Employment Inequalities

  • Andrew Glyn
  • Wiemer Salverda

This paper documents the employment disadvantage faced by the less qualified part of the labor force and examines the factors that influence the differing extent of this disadvantage across OECD countries. We argue that employment rates for quartiles of the population ranked by educational qualification provide the best m easure of employment disadvantage. We show that differences in these employment rates for the most- and least-educated quartiles vary substantially within Europe, but are not on average higher than those in the USA. The least qualified suffer the greatest employment disadvantage in countries in which the overall employment rates are low and, for men, the literacy test scores for the least qualified are relatively low. A high level of imports from the South appears to be associated with greater employment disadvantage, but there is no discernible tendency for a high level of wage dispersion, low benefits, or weak employment protection legislation to be associated with greater employment disadvantage. Labor market flexibility has not been the route by which some OECD countries have managed to minimize the employment disadvantage of the least qualified

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Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_293.

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Date of creation: Dec 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_293
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  1. Pryor,Frederic L. & Schaffer,David L., 1999. "Who's Not Working and Why," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521651523.
  2. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1994. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," NBER Working Papers 4678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1996. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," NBER Working Papers 5487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Blondal, Sveinbjorn & Pearson, Mark, 1995. "Unemployment and Other Non-employment Benefits," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 136-69, Spring.
  6. Alan Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "Observations and Conjectures on the U.S. Employment Miracle," Working Papers 769, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
  8. 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.
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