Questions tagged [labor-economics]

Labor economics is the branch of microeconomics that studies labor markets and its peculiarities. Labor economists usually study topics such as career choice, returns to schooling, determinants of labor productivity, wages, gender and racial gaps.

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How will non-rich citizens make a living if jobs keep getting replaced by robots and are outsourced?

Decades ago a factory job could support a wife and kids until retirement and they offered insurance, benefits, etc. Now, no more unions, those jobs as well as tech and customer service jobs are ...
22
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6answers
3k views

How do Marxist economists solve the Diamond-Water Paradox?

For class surveying different economic systems, I read a book on Marxism and its core beliefs. As I read, I came to learn that the Marxist view of economics depends heavily on the Labor Theory of ...
21
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3answers
3k views

Why is collective bargaining by a group of employees not the same thing as price-fixing?

Employees sell their labor for wages. If a critical mass of employees get together and demand higher wages, how is this not the same thing as a critical mass of merchants illegally fixing the price of ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Why are real median household incomes stagnant?

This image shows US real median household income. It seems remarkable for its lack of growth over the last 20 years. This has been the subject of much political debate (around the "1%" and "occupy ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Unemployment and the Minimum Wage---what are the main counter-arguments to Card and Krueger?

Card and Krueger's paper (AER 1994, "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania") uses a difference-in-difference identification strategy to ...
13
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2answers
841 views

What is the difference between contract theory and mechanism design?

Can someone explain the difference between contract theory and mechanism design?
10
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3answers
2k views

Under what conditions is a monopoly undesirable?

First of all, I realize that "undesirable" is an ambiguous term. So, to clarify, when is a monopoly undesirable under the following metrics? Pareto efficiency Reduces consumer surplus Social Welfare (...
9
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3answers
46k views

What is the difference between intensive margin and extensive margin in labor economics?

What is the difference between intensive margin and extensive margin in labor economics, or general RBC model, where we talk about labor-hours supplied changing with extensive margin or intensive ...
9
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1answer
467 views

What are the economic perspectives regarding the game of salary negotiations?

Apologies if I use non-economic language to explain what I suspect is a practical application of economics. I have no formal education in economics whatsoever but hoping you guys/girls might be able ...
8
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5answers
474 views

Lack of skilled IT workforce, but they do not raise wages

In my country, Portugal, many IT companies are always complaining in media regarding the lack of skilled IT workforce, but they do not raise wages. We have statistical data from the government that ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Effect of minimum wage on higher levels of pay

Suppose the minimum wage increases to \$$x$. Is there any evidence on the effect (if any) this is likely to have upon the wage profile of workers higher in the hierarchy, who are already paid more ...
8
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2answers
150 views

Whatever happened to efficiency wage theories?

Older macroeconomics texts give much space to efficiency wage explanations of how unemployment could coexist with wages in equilibrium higher than the reservation wage of workers. However, there ...
8
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4answers
201 views

Can absence of inflation be accounted for by a reconfigured class structure?

A previous and oft-heard question asked why no inflation results from the Fed pumping money into the economy. Are we simply seeing a methodical wage suppression, thus no official "inflation," while ...
8
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1answer
152 views

Does Craigslist Reduce Unemployment?

If a substantial (though admittedly I have no idea how large) part of the natural rate of unemployment is caused by the job search, do more efficient means of communication create more efficient labor ...
8
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4answers
213 views

Can higher working hours reduce productivity?

Are there studies about the impact on per-hour output (productivity) of increasing the number of hours worked each week by employees? If every employee works 3hrs/week longer (from 41 to 44hrs), does ...
8
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2answers
139 views

Differentiation of the value function in Burdett Mortensen (1998)

I'm currently making my way through Burdett and Mortensen's classic paper of on the job search. What should be an easy task of finding an expression for the reservation wage is made slightly more ...
8
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0answers
283 views

Local and Central Wage Bargaining: What Is the Difference?

Consider the following setting: Profit maximizing firms with production functions $\Pi(w,L)$, where $w$ is the wage and $L$ is employment. Unions who want to maximize the expected utility of their ...
7
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2answers
94 views

How can median wages be significantly different in two neighboring countries with open borders?

As an example, take Germany and Czech Republic. Both are members of the EU and therefore trade barriers between the two countries are minimal. However the median salary in Germany is nearly 3 times as ...
7
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3answers
778 views

Why did creating the Eurozone cause the cost of labor to rise in Greece?

As I understand the implementation of the Euro as a common currency caused labor prices to spike in certain countries, Greece being one of them. Why did this happen? Why did it affect certain ...
7
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2answers
831 views

Why does immigration boost the economy? (or does it not…?)

I'm a novice at macroeconomics, and trying to understand the effect of immigration (from developing nations) on the economy of a developed nation. Specifically, I am considering the effect when the ...
7
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1answer
83 views

Testing Roberts's Law: data request on CEO pay and company characteristics

I posted here regarding sources for Roberts's Law. In this paper it gives a clear qualification of what Roberts's law is. (Page 9, ...Cross-sectional prediction..) ..In a given year, the ...
6
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6answers
878 views

Graduate Level Textbook on Labor Economics and Macro-Labor

What would be good textbooks at the graduate level that deal with Labor Economics and Labor-Macro (As in, Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, Shimer Puzzle etc)?
6
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3answers
947 views

Has the natural rate of unemployment decreased with modern travel and the Internet?

The natural rate of unemployment is a combination of structural unemployment and frictional unemployment. Structural unemployment is caused by a surplus of labor at a given wage in a given area. ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Why is the percent of Australian businesses that don't have any employees so high?

I'm trying to understand this Australian Bureau of Statistics release: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8165.0 It says: In June 2014, 61% of actively trading businesses in Australia had ...
6
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2answers
353 views

Unemployment and the Frisch-Elasticity

There is the long debate on the Frisch-Elasticity being the driver of unemployment over the business cycle. One argument against the voluntary-unemployment mechanism of RBC models is that if we ...
6
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1answer
369 views

Why has increased productivity over the last 100 years not affected how much people work?

If we are generally richer and more productive due to better technology and other factors, why do we still work so much? I understand that there are various incentives to work (e.g. implicit status ...
6
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2answers
931 views

Why life expectance is growing faster than retirement age? - source needed

Need sources of information about "Why is life expectancy growing faster than retirement age?" Is there any literature about "why the increased quality of life and medicine in rich countries doesn’t ...
6
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3answers
148 views

Why don't prices of USA labor and Mexican labor equalise?

That Mexicans workers get paid less US workers is a dynamic which motivates the moving of production to Mexico. This idea can be abstracted to Developed Markets (DM) labor and Emerging Markets (EM) ...
6
votes
6answers
422 views

Reconciling low wages with high technology and high education

This is one example of many recent doom storied prognosticating that the "millennial" generation will be the first in (recent) history to experience lower incomes than their predecessors—at least in ...
6
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1answer
71 views

Distribution of Wages

Is there any paper that looks at the distribution of wages? I'd like to see how many workers are in each percentile of labor income. I know that you could compute it using CPS or US tax data, but I ...
6
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1answer
231 views

Are there any studies that show that “Affirmative Action” hurts the economy?

Are there any studies that show that "Affirmative Action" (an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education) hurts the ...
6
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2answers
125 views

Instrumental Variable Paper for Minimum Wage

I am trying to write a paper dealing with minimum wages and employment. I understand there is simultaneity bias between these two variables so I must come up with an instrument. Does anyone have any ...
6
votes
1answer
214 views

Labour markets and supply-side policies: too much stress put on the WS push factors?

In reading several macro textbooks, it seems that most of the supply-side policies tend to be focused on the labour supply side (wage setting curve), instead on the firm/labour demand side(price ...
6
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0answers
87 views

Why aren't there more super-stars in educational content delivery?

The super-star phenomena seems to happen in any field where the marginal cost of distribution is very low. I think teaching could be that way just as much as acting or playing basketball - at least as ...
5
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2answers
96 views

Minimum Wage effects on Adjacent Cities

When a city like Seattle raises the minimum wage to 15/hr, how does it affect the labor market in adjacent cities? Are there examples, studies or accepted practices to address: Difficulty staffing ...
5
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2answers
171 views

Stimulus Effect of the Minimum Wage

In the question about the minimum wage found here, I have heard several times that an increase in the minimum wage can, as one of several competing effects, "boost the economy" by increasing the ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Labour Saving vs. Labour Augmenting - what is the difference?

It seems reasonable to say that technology generally increases output per unit of labour. Therefore in any factory which has installed new technology one can reasonably expect that for the same ...
5
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1answer
261 views

Has US real median personal/household income been stagnant since the late 1970's/early 1980's?

This is referring to an earlier question: Why are real median household incomes stagnant? How do the following graphs actually tell you that US real median personal/household income has been stagnant ...
5
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2answers
132 views

When and why women left the labour market?

It is well documented that women in now developed countries entered the labour market all thoughout the 20th century. As such, female labour participation have consistently increased. For example, ...
5
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1answer
57 views

Is Firing Costly in the US?

I suppose that it doesn't cost most firms much to get rid of cheap labor, and that high wage workers typically have contracts that imply high compensations in case of firing. But what about the ...
5
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1answer
206 views

The Shapiro-Stiglitz model. Why under full employment do unemployed workers find jobs instantly?

Under the Shapiro-Stiglitz model the No-Shirking Condition is: $$w=\bar{e}+\left( \rho +\frac{\bar{L}}{\bar{L}-NL}b \right)\frac{\bar{e}}{q}$$ Where: $\bar{e}=$ exerted effort by employees $\rho=$ ...
5
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2answers
7k views

Bartik Instrument Intuition

I have a question regarding the Bartik Instrument. I understand that this instrument is a particularly important tool that is used in labor economics. From my understanding, this instrument attempts ...
5
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1answer
194 views

What term/theory describes more efficient utilization of a resource?

I may be asking the wrong question here, but I wonder if there is a term/theory that describes/studies the evolution of an economy that continually improves the utilization and allocation of certain ...
5
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1answer
86 views

Geographic mobility of workers within Germany, as compared to within the US?

Martin Feldstein (1997, p. 36) claims that workers within the US are more geographically mobile than say within Germany. I had known that US workers were mobile. But one sentence of his seems a bit ...
5
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2answers
133 views

Has Stack Overflow been economically beneficial to programmer productivity?

Has Stack Overflow an overall positive impact on programmers productivity? On one side, it takes time and effort to ask and answer questions -- thus decreasing productivity. On the other side, ...
5
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1answer
439 views

Instrumental variables for minimum wage

I was wondering if there is a classic instrument for minimum wage as there is for schooling or other variables. If so, how does it fares with respect to most established designs like spatial ...
5
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4answers
272 views

Reference request on “post-scarcity” economics?

Some friends and I have been discussing, speculatively, what might happen in the future after technology/increased automation greatly reduces the need for human labor. The Marxists / leftists among ...
5
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0answers
161 views

Consumption-Leisure Elasticity

The macro-literature insists on a consumption-leisure elasticity of 0 to match the balanced growth fact of constant labor supply. Is there any paper that tries to evaluate this elasticity using ...
5
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1answer
112 views

Why is sugar cane still harvested manually in Brazil?

I read that up to 70% of Brazil's sugar cane in the Sao Paulo area is still harvested manually. Some workers are paid $1.50 per tonne. Why is it still being cut manually? Some possibilities: (1) farm ...
4
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3answers
244 views

What keeps minimum wage rates in balance?

I would posit that the minimum wage is determined more on a political than an economic basis. The fact is that there are more wage earners than business owners and, generally speaking, the wage ...