Wages, Profits and Rent-Sharing
30 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2002 Last revised: 17 Jul 2022
Date Written: December 1992
The paper uses CPS data from 1964 to 1985 to test for the existence of rent-sharing in US tabor markets, Using an unbalanced panel from the manufacturing sector, and random-effects and fixed-effects specifications, the paper finds that changes in wages are explained by movements in lagged levels of profitability and unemployment. The results appear to be consistent with rent-sharing theory (or a labor contract framework with risk-averse firms) and to be inconsistent with the competitive labor market model. The paper estimates the unemployment elasticity of pay at approximately -0.03, and the profit elasticity of pay at between 0.02 and 0.05.
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