Measuring Labor's Share
This paper considers conceptual and practical issues that arise in measuring labor's share of national income. Most importantly: How are workers defined? How is compensation defined? The current definition of labor compensation used the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) includes the salary of business owners and payments to retired workers in labor compensation. An alternative series to the BEA's standard series is presented. In addition, a simple method for decomposing labor compensation into a component due to raw labor' and a component due to human capital is presented. Raw labor's share of national income is estimated using Census and CPS data. The share of national income attributable to raw labor increased from 9.6 percent to 13 percent between 1939 and 1959, remained at 12-13 percent between 1959 and 1979, and fell to 5 percent by 1996.
|Date of creation:||Mar 1999|
|Publication status:||published as American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 89, no. 2 (May 1999): 45-51.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992.
"Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
- David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
- Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Oliver J. Blanchard, 1997. "The Medium Run," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 89-158.
- N. I. Stone, 1945. "The Beginnings of the National Bureau of Economic Research," NBER Chapters,in: The National Bureau's First Quarter-Century, pages 5-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barry Bosworth & George L. Perry, 1994. "Productivity and Real Wages: Is There a Puzzle?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 317-343.
- James R. Spletzer & Katharine G. Abraham & Jay C. Stewart, 1999. "Why Do Different Wage Series Tell Different Stories?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 34-39, May. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7006. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.