The Wage Curve
NBER Working Paper No. 3181 (Also Reprint No. r1449)
This paper, which follows in an LSE tradition begun by Phillips and Sargan, examines the role of unemployment in shaping pay. In contrast to most of the literature, it 1) uses microeconometric data on individuals and workplaces 2) examines a variety of data sets as a check on the robustness of results, and 3) studies the effects of unemployment on the real wage level (not on the rate of change of pay or prices) . The paper finds evidence - on British and US data - of a wage curve. The curve has a negative gradient at low levels of unemployment, but becomes horizontal at relatively high levels of unemployment.