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Differences and Changes in Wage Structures

During the past two decades, wages of skilled workers in the United States rose while those of unskilled workers fell; less-educated young men in particular have suffered unprecedented losses in real earnings. These twelve original essays explore whether this trend is unique to the United States or is part of a general growth in inequality in advanced countries.

Focusing on labor market institutions and the supply and demand forces that affect wages, the papers compare patterns of earnings inequality and pay differentials in the United States, Australia, Korea, Japan, Western Europe, and the changing economies of Eastern Europe. Cross-country studies examine issues such as managerial compensation, gender differences in earnings, and the relationship of pay to regional unemployment.

From this rich store of data, the contributors attribute changes in relative wages and unemployment among countries both to differences in labor market institutions and training and education systems, and to long-term shifts in supply and demand for skilled workers. These shifts are driven in part by skill-biased technological change and the growing internationalization of advanced industrial economies.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Summary
Richard B. Freeman, Lawrence F. Katz.
1: A Comparison of Changes in the Structure of Wages in Four OECD Countries
Lawrence F. Katz, Gary W. Loveman, David G. Blanchflower.
2: International Differences in Executive and Managerial Compensation
John M. Abowd, Michael L. Bognanno.
3: The Gender Earnings Gap: Some International Evidence
Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn.
4: International Wage Curves
David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald.
5: The Changing Structure of Male Earnings in Britain, 1974-1988
John Schmitt
6: Real Wages, Employment, and Wage Dispersion in U.S. and Australian Labor
Robert G. Gregory, Francis Vella.
7: Labor Markets and Economic Growth: Lessons from Korea’s
Industrialization, 1970-1990
Dae-Il Kim, Robert H. Topel.
8: Wage Differentials in Italy: Market Forces, Institutions, and Inflation
Christopher L. Erickson, Andrea C. Ichino.
9: The Swedish Wage Structure: The Rise and Fall of Solidarity Wage Policy?
Per-Anders Edin, Bertil Holmlund.
10: Getting Together and Breaking Apart: The Decline of Centralized
Collective Bargaining
Richard B. Freeman, Robert S. Gibbons.
11: Earnings Inequality in Germany
Katharine G. Abraham, Susan N. Houseman.
12: A Comparative Analysis of East and West German Labor Markets: Before
and After Unification
Alan B. Krueger, Jorn-Steffen Pischke.
Author Index
Subject Index

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