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Efforts and Wages: A New Look at the Inter-Industry Wage Differentials

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  • Edward E. Leamer
  • Christopher Thornberg

Abstract

We provide evidence that US workers face a wage-effort offer curve with the high-wage high-effort jobs occurring in the capital intensive sectors. We find that real wage offers rose at every level of effort during the 1960's, a shift which is consistent with a decline in the rental cost of capital. During the 1970's, when relative prices of labor-intensive goods declined, the wage-effort offer curve twisted, offering lower pay for the low-paid jobs in the labor-intensive sectors but higher pay for the high-paid jobs in the capital-intensive sectors. In the 1980's, workers at every wage level began to work more hours for the same weekly wage. This we loosely attribute either to the increasing cost of non-wage benefits, especially health care, or to the introduction of new equipment. In studying the wage-effort offer curve rate of unionization, education, and rent sharing.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward E. Leamer & Christopher Thornberg, 1998. "Efforts and Wages: A New Look at the Inter-Industry Wage Differentials," NBER Working Papers 6626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6626
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    Cited by:

    1. Yih-Chyi Chuang & Pi-Fum Hsu, 2004. "FDI, trade, and spillover efficiency: evidence from China's manufacturing sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(10), pages 1103-1115.
    2. Robbins, Donald J., 2003. "The impact of trade liberalization upon inequality in developing countries : a review of theory and evidence," ILO Working Papers 993650553402676, International Labour Organization.
    3. Wang, Yongjin & Zhao, Laixun, 2015. "Saving good jobs from global competition by rewarding quality and efforts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 426-434.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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