Capital Depreciation and Labor Shares Around the World: Measurement and Implications
The labor share is typically measured as compensation to labor relative to gross value added ("gross labor share"), in part because gross value added is more directly measured than net value added. Labor compensation relative to net value added ("net labor share") may be more important in some settings, however, because depreciation is not consumed. In this paper we make three contributions. First, we document that gross and net labor shares generally declined together in most countries around the world over the past four decades. Second, we use a simple economic environment to show that declines in the price of capital necessarily cause gross and net labor shares to move in the same direction, whereas other shocks such as a decline in the real interest rate may cause the net labor share to rise when the gross labor share falls. Third, we illustrate that whether the gross or the net labor share is a more useful proxy for inequality during an economy's transition depends sensitively on the nature of the underlying shocks that hit the economy.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2014|
|Note:||EFG IFM PR|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- Brent Neiman, 2014.
"The Global Decline of the Labor Share,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
- Loukas Karabarbounis & Brent Neiman, 2013. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," NBER Working Papers 19136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benjamin Bridgman, 2014. "Is Labor's Loss Capital's Gain? Gross versus Net Labor Shares," BEA Working Papers 0114, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700–2010," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1255-1310.
- Piketty, Thomas & Zucman, Gabriel, 2013. "Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries, 1700-2010," CEPR Discussion Papers 9588, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700–2010," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01109372, HAL.
- Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Capital is back: wealth-income ratios in rich countries 1700-2010," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66106, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Odran Bonnet & Pierre-Henri Bono & Guillaume Chapelle & Etienne Wasmer, 2014. "Does housing capital contribute to inequality? A comment on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2014-07, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
- Odran Bonnet & Pierre-Henri Bono & Guillaume Chapelle & Etienne Wasmer, 2014. "Does housing capital contribute to inequality? A comment on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century," Sciences Po publications 2014-07, Sciences Po.
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