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Wage-productivity gap in OECD economies


  • Elgin, Ceyhun
  • Kuzubas, Tolga Umut


The Walrasian theory of labor market equilibrium predicts that in the absence of any market frictions, workers earn a wage rate equal to their marginal productivity. However, this observation is not supported empirically for various economies. Based on the neoclassical tradition, the ratio of the marginal product of labor to real wages is generally defined as the Pigouvian exploitation rate. In this paper, the authors calculate this specific wage-productivity gap for the manufacturing sector in OECD economies and investigate its relation to the unemployment rate along with other variables such as government taxation, capital expansion, unionization, inflation. The authors find that the wage productivity gap gives a robust and significantly positive response to shocks to the unemployment rate and negative response to shocks to unionization.

Suggested Citation

  • Elgin, Ceyhun & Kuzubas, Tolga Umut, 2013. "Wage-productivity gap in OECD economies," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-18, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201318

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 323-364, March.
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    5. Ceyhun ELGİN & Tolga Umut KUZUBAŞ, 2012. "Wage-Productivity Gap in Turkish Manufacturing Sector," Iktisat Isletme ve Finans, Bilgesel Yayincilik, vol. 27(316), pages 09-31.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ceyhun ELGİN & Tolga Umut KUZUBAŞ, 2012. "Wage-Productivity Gap in Turkish Manufacturing Sector," Iktisat Isletme ve Finans, Bilgesel Yayincilik, vol. 27(316), pages 09-31.
    2. Samuel O. Okafor & Kenneth Jegbefumwen & Olisaemeka D. Maduka & Ambrose C. Okeke, 2016. "A Three-Factor Model of Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Economic Development for Developing Countries," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 57-72, November.
    3. Gomez, Francisco & Mac-Auliffe, Raimundo & Rosselot, Santiago, 2014. "Brecha Productividad – Salario: Un Acercamiento Por Rama," Estudios Nueva Economía, Estudios Nueva Economía, vol. 3(1), pages 44-49.
    4. Jiménez Polanco, Miguel Alejandro & López Hawa, Nabil, 2017. "Explicando la brecha entre el salario real y la productividad laboral en la República Dominicana: Análisis macroeconómico y recomendaciones de políticas basadas en microsimulaciones
      [Explaining the
      ," MPRA Paper 83441, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    wages; marginal productivity of labor; panel-VAR; OECD economies;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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