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The Employment and Wage Effects of Oil Price Changes: A Sectoral Analysis

Michael Keane () and Eswar Prasad ()

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 1996, vol. 78, issue 3, 389-400

Abstract: In this paper, we use micro panel data to examine the effects of oil price changes on employment and real wages, at the aggregate and industry levels. We also measure differences in the employment and wage responses for workers differentiated on the basis of skill level. We find that oil price increases result in a substantial decline in real wages for all workers, but raise the relative wage of skilled workers. The use of panel data econometric techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity is essential to uncover this result, which is completely hidden in OLS estimates. While the short-run effect of an oil price increase on aggregate employment is negative, the long-run effect is in fact positive. We find that changes in oil prices induce changes in employment shares and relative wages across industries. However, we find little evidence that oil price changes cause labor to consistently flow into those sectors with relative wage increases. Copyright 1996 by MIT Press.

Date: 1996
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The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Amitabh Chandra, Olivier Coibion, Bryan S. Graham, Shachar Kariv, Amit K. Khandelwal, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Brigitte C. Madrian and Rohini Pande

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