NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Wages Around the World: Pay Across Occupations and Countries

Richard B. Freeman, Remco Oostendorp

NBER Working Paper No. 8058
Issued in December 2000
NBER Program(s):   LS

This study transforms the October Inquiry' Survey of wages conducted by the International Labour Organization into a consistent data file on pay in 161 occupations in over 150 countries from 1983 to 1998 to examine the pattern of pay across occupations and countries. The new file tells us that: 1. Skill differentials vary inversely with gross domestic product per capita. During the 1980s-1990s, they fell modestly in advanced countries; fell more sharply in upper middle income countries while rising markedly in countries moving from communism to free markets and in lower middle income countries. 2. Wages in the same occupation vary greatly across countries measured by common currency exchange rates and measured by purchasing power parity. Cross-country differences in pay for comparable work increased, despite increased world trade. 3. The principal forces that affect the occupational wage structure around the world are the level of gross domestic product per capita and unionisation/wage-setting institutions.

download in pdf format
   (624 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (624 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8058

Published: Freeman, Richard (ed.) Inequality Around the World. London, UK: Palgrave, 2002.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Rodrik w4064 Foreign Trade in Eastern Europe's Transition: Early Results
Spiller and Liao w12209 Buy, Lobby or Sue: Interest Groups' Participation in Policy Making - A Selective Survey
Burkhauser, Feng, and Larrimore w14458 Measuring Labor Earnings Inequality using Public-Use March Current Population Survey Data: The Value of Including Variances and Cell Means When Imputing Topcoded Values
Gordon w3416 Can Capital Income Taxes Survive in Open Economies?
Hassett and Hubbard w6676 Are Investment Incentives Blunted by Changes in Prices of Capital Goods?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us