IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/zewdip/5122.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Relative Earnings and the Demand for Unskilled Labor in West German Manufacturing

Author

Listed:
  • Steiner, Viktor
  • Wagner, Kersten

Abstract

We analyze the economic factors which have contributed to the dramatic decline of the employment share of unskilled labor in German manufacturing, in particular the role played by the relatively rigid earnings structure. Potential effects of intensified international competition and skill?biased technological change on the relative employment and earnings position of unskilled workers are also discussed. We find that the substitution elasticity between unskilled and skilled labor is rather low. The decline in the employment share of unskilled workers attributable to an inflexible earnings structure therefore seems to have been modest compared to the trend decline in the skills ratio. We also find some modest effects from international competition and technological change on the employment share of unskilled labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Steiner, Viktor & Wagner, Kersten, 1997. "Relative Earnings and the Demand for Unskilled Labor in West German Manufacturing," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-17, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5122
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24242/1/dp1797.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    2. Diewert, W E & Wales, T J, 1992. "Quadratic Spline Models for Producer's Supply and Demand Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 705-722, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
    5. Flaig, Gebhard & Steiner, Viktor, 1993. "Searching for the "Productivity Slowdown": Some Surprising Findings from West German Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 57-65, February.
    6. Gary Burtless, 1995. "International Trade and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 800-816, June.
    7. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
    8. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
    9. Hauser, Richard, 1995. "Problems of the German Welfare State after Unification," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 44-58, Autumn.
    10. Siebert, Horst, 1997. "Labor market rigidities and unemployment in Europe," Kiel Working Papers 787, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    12. Wood Júnior, Thomaz, 1995. "Workers," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 35(2), March.
    13. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    14. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2000. "The Decline In Demand For Unskilled Labor: An Empirical Analysis Method And Its Application To France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 596-607, November.
    15. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
    16. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1.
    17. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    18. Steiner, Viktor, 1997. "Extended benefit entitlement periods and the duration of unemployment in West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-14, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    19. Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
    20. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Puhani, Patrick A., 2001. "Wage Rigidities in Western Germany? Microeconometric Evidence from the 1990s," IZA Discussion Papers 334, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Köllő, János, 2001. "Hozzászólás az elmaradt minimálbérvitához
      [Contribution to an omitted debate on the minimum wage]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1064-1080.
    3. repec:iab:iabmit:v:31:i:3:p:426-437 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Koebel, Bertrand M. & Falk, Martin, 1999. "Curvature conditions and substitution pattern among capital, energy, materials and heterogeneous labour," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Olivier Bontout & Sébastien Jean, 2000. "What Drove Relative Wages in France? Structural Decomposition Analysis in a General Equilibrium Framework, 1970-1992," Working Papers 2000-03, CEPII research center.
    6. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Franz, Wolfgang, 1997. "Flexibilität der qualifikatorischen Lohnstruktur und Lastverteilung der Arbeitslosigkeit: Eine ökonometrische Analyse für Westdeutschland," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Gerry Boyle & Pauline McCormack, 2002. "Trade and technological explanations for changes in sectoral labour demand in OECD economies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(5), pages 617-635.
    8. Gerlach, Knut & Jirjahn, Uwe, 1998. "Technischer Fortschritt, Arbeitsorganisation und Qualifikation : eine empirische Analyse für das Verarbeitende Gewerbe Niedersachsens (Technological progress, organisation of labour, and qualification," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 31(3), pages 426-437.
    9. Gerry Boyle; & Pauline McCormack, 1998. "Trade and Technological Explanations for Changes in Sectoral Labour Demand in OECD Economies," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n770598, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    10. Hanan Nazier, 2017. "Estimating Labor Demand Elasticities and Elasticities of Substitution in Egyptian Manufacturing Sector: A Firm Level Static Analysis," Working Papers 1158, Economic Research Forum, revised 11 2017.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5122. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/zemande.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.