Extending the Kuznets Curve
Jordi Guilera ()
No 257, Working Papers in Economics from Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia
Recent decades have been characterized by a steep increase in wage inequality globally. In order to explain this phenomenon, this paper extends the classic Kuznets Curve to include post-industrial economies. According to this Extended Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis, wage inequality may follow an N-curve. If the inverted U-shape of the EKC is attributable to the structural changes associated with industrialization, its right-hand side reflects the boom in human capital formation registered in modern and post-industrial economies. Thus, the main candidates to explain the recent upsurge in wage inequality, namely skill-biased technical change, globalisation and institutional factors, may be embodied in the evolution of the skill composition of the labour force. The available empirical evidence, albeit limited, tends to support the EKC hypothesis.
JEL-codes: O15 J24 N34 J21 D31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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