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More evidence on the puzzle of interindustry wage differentials: the case of West Germany

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  • Fels, Joachim
  • Gundlach, Erich

Abstract

In West Germany workers with similar skills earn different wages according to the industry in which they are employed. This finding is no surprise given the institutional rigidities of the West German labor market. But the similarity of the interindustry wage structures in West Germany and in the U.S. points to a puzzle since these countries exhibit totally different labor market institutions. Typical high-wage industries in both countries are motor vehicles and petroleum refining. Furthermore, large correlations of wages between any two qualification groups of workers within an industry in both countries cannot easily be explained by standard neoclassical labor market theories. Once alternative theories are accepted, the economic policy prescriptions regarding the labor market become very different.
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  • Fels, Joachim & Gundlach, Erich, 1990. "More evidence on the puzzle of interindustry wage differentials: the case of West Germany," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 1448, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:1448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
    2. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin, 1977. "Some Further Evidence on the Use of the Chow Test under Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1293-1298, July.
    3. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Methods and Problems in Business Cycle Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 696-715, November.
    4. Gundlach, Erich, 1986. "Gibt es genügend Lohndifferenzierung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland?," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 1307, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Toyoda, Toshihisa, 1974. "Use of the Chow Test under Heteroscedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(3), pages 601-608, May.
    7. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    8. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-293, March.
    9. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-1294, September.
    10. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:20:y:1989:i:1989-3:p:209-290 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Interindustry Wage Differentials," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 181-193, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Claudia Kurz, 2003. "New insights on earnings trends across skill groups and industries in West Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 479-514, July.
    2. Susan N. Houseman & Katharine G. Abraham, 1995. "Earnings Inequality in Germany," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz (ed.), Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 371-403 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    3. Paqué, Karl-Heinz, 1991. "Structural wage rigidity in West Germany 1950-1989: Some new econometric evidence," Kiel Working Papers 489, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Carl Campbell, 1991. "Tests of efficiency wage theory and contract theory with disaggregated data from the U.S," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 127(1), pages 98-118, March.

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