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Productivity and Wages: Common Factors and Idiosyncrasies Across Countries and Industries

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  • Edward P. Lazear

Abstract

Average wage growth is closely related to aggregate productivity growth across countries and within countries over time. The commonality of patterns across OECD countries suggests that common factors are at work. Are productivity-based explanations of wage changes consistent with increasing variance in wages as well as increases in mean wages as suggested by skill-biased technological change or other factors? To answer this, it is necessary to observe education-specific productivity growth. Cross-industry comparisons reveal that industries dominated by highly educated workers experienced higher-than-average productivity growth that is more than sufficient to account for increasing skill differentials.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward P. Lazear, 2019. "Productivity and Wages: Common Factors and Idiosyncrasies Across Countries and Industries," NBER Working Papers 26428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26428
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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