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Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors

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  • Lawrence F. Katz
  • Kevin M. Murphy

Abstract

A simple supply and demand framework is used to analyze changes in the U.S. wage structure from 1963 to 1987. Rapid secular growth in the demand for more-educated workers, 'more-skilled' workers, and females appears to be the driving force behind observed changes in the wage structure. Measured changes in the allocation of labor between industries and occupations strongly favored college graduates and females throughout the period. Movements in the college wage premium over this period appear to be strongly related to fluctuations in the rate of growth of the supply of college graduates.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3927
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Human Capital, Technology, and the Wage Structure: What Do Time Series Show?," NBER Working Papers 3581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 65-97, October.
    3. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "How Much Has De-Unionisation Contributed to the Rise in Male Earnings Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 3826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1992. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid-Century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 1-34.
    5. repec:fth:prinin:291 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
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