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The Declining Labor Share of Income

Francisco Rodríguez () and Arjun Jayadev

No HDRP-2010-36, Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) from Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Abstract: We use two distinct panel datasets to extract and examine data on the labor share of output. From the first, we examine trends in the economy-wide labor share and from the second, we examine trends in the labor share of the manufacturing sector over the last three decades. Both datasets show that labor shares have decreased, starting from about 1980, in most regions of the world. This finding is robust to adjustments for self-employment as well as adjustments for unbalanced panel structure. Furthermore, we present evidence that as a first approximation, this decrease is driven by declines in intra sector labor shares as opposed to movements in activity towards sectors with lower labor shares.

Keywords: Factor Shares; Human Development; Human Development Index; Labor Shares; Self-Employment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O15 E25 J64 O15 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2010-11
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Published as background research for the 2010 Human Development Report.

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