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Job Polarization and Structural Change

Zsofia Barany () and Christian Siegel

American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2018, vol. 10, issue 1, 57-89

Abstract: We document that job polarization—contrary to the consensus—has started as early as the 1950s in the United States: middle-wage workers have been losing both in terms of employment and average wage growth compared to low- and high-wage workers. Given that polarization is a long-run phenomenon and closely linked to the shift from manufacturing to services, we propose a structural change driven explanation, where we explicitly model the sectoral choice of workers. Our simple model does remarkably well not only in matching the evolution of sectoral employment, but also of relative wages over the past 50 years.

Date: 2018
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20150258
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Working Paper: Job Polarization and Structural Change (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Job polarization and structural change (2016)
Working Paper: Job Polarization and Structural Change (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Job Polarization and Structural Change (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Job Polarization and Structural Change (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Job Polarization and Structural Change (2014) Downloads
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