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Determinants of the Labor Share: Evidence from a Panel of Firms

This paper analyzes the sources of labor share variations and its general downward trend, observed recently in most European economies. Using a unique quarterly firmlevel panel dataset from the Polish enterprise sector in the period 1995–2008, we quantify the impacts on the observed variation in labor shares of (i) firms’ “demographics” including firms’ age as well as their entry and exit behavior, (ii) selected labor market characteristics such as newly filled vacancies, labor market tightness, and human capital measures, (iii) firm- and sector-level measures of export intensity, competition, and ownership structure, and (iv) shifts in the sectoral make-up of GDP. We also test the potential cross-effects among these variables. We conclude that while sector-specific factors, changes in the ownership structure, and the accumulation of human capital explain a large fraction of the observed downward trend in the labor share, labor market characteristics, market structures and firm demographics are robust correlates of labor share changes at high frequency.

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Paper provided by National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute in its series National Bank of Poland Working Papers with number 69.

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Length: 40
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbp:nbpmis:69
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  1. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," CEP Discussion Papers dp0667, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "What We Know and Do Not Know About the Natural Rate of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 5822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Bentollia, S. & Saint-Paul, G., 1999. "Explaining Movements in the Labor Share," Papers 9905, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
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  7. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  8. Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The Shape of Production Functions and the Direction of Technical Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 517-549, May.
  9. Gradzewicz, Michal & Hagemejer, Jan, 2007. "Marże monopolistyczne i przychody skali w gospodarce polskiej
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    ," MPRA Paper 46496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Alain de Serres & Stefano Scarpetta & Christine de la Maisonneuve, 2002. "Sectoral Shifts in Europe and the United States: How They Affect Aggregate Labour Shares and the Properties of Wage Equations," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 326, OECD Publishing.
  11. Olivier Blanchard, 1998. "Revisiting European Unemployment: Unemployment, Capital Accumulation, and Factor Prices," NBER Working Papers 6566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Tomi Kyyrä & Mika Maliranta, 2008. "The micro-level dynamics of declining labour share: lessons from the Finnish great leap ," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(6), pages 1147-1172, December.
  13. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557, May.
  16. Marcin Kolasa, 2008. "Productivity, innovation and convergence in Poland," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(3), pages 467-501, 07.
  17. Shaikh, Anwar, 1974. "Laws of Production and Laws of Algebra: The Humbug Production Function," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 115-20, February.
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  19. repec:dgr:rugggd:200363 is not listed on IDEAS
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