IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/1976.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Wage-Productivity Hypothesis: Its Economic Consequences and Policy Implications

Author

Listed:
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

Abstract

This paper explores the implications for less developed countries the hypothesis that workers' productivity depends on the wages they receive. In particular, we show that this hypothesis may explain the high urban wages and unemployment found in many such countries. The market equilibrium is shown not to be pareto efficient. If the government could not control urbaxv'rural migration, but could control wages and urban employment, it would, in general, set wages and employment levels differently. The sources of Inefficiency are identified. The (constrained) pareto optimal policy can be implemented via taxes and subsidies; but two instruments (both specific and ad valorern wage tax/subsidies) are required. More generally, policy changes will affect both the urban wage and the level of unemployment, and these consequences need to be taken into accounce, both In the determination of shadow wages to be used in cost benefit analysis and In the analysisis of the incidence of any set of taxes and subsIdIes. The shadow price of labor may differ markedly from what it would be if wages were arbitrarily fixed and there were no migration. In particular, in the special case of the Harris-Todaro migration model, with fixed rural wages and productivity depending only on the absolute wage received, the shadow wage is the market wage, regardless of the relative evaluation of current and future consumption. Shadow prices under other specifications of the wage-productivity relationship are analyzed.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "The Wage-Productivity Hypothesis: Its Economic Consequences and Policy Implications," NBER Working Papers 1976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1976 Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1976.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Todaro, Michael P, 1969. "A Model for Labor Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 138-148, March.
    2. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1978. "Labour Turnover, Wage Structure, and Natural Unemployment," Munich Reprints in Economics 1255, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Calvo, Guillermo, 1979. "Quasi-Walrasian Theories of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 102-107, May.
    4. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1973. "Approaches to the Economics of Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 287-295, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Salop, S. C., 1973. "Wage differentials in a dynamic theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 321-344, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1976. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.