Tuesday, December 19, 2017

PETE DOLACK - You are Working Harder and Getting Paid Less

We are always being told that the French economic model can't last, which neoliberal economists have been saying for over 30 years, but workers in France still do better than the rest of us. Perhaps good wages keeps their economy running well. 
The bad news: Your wages are declining. The worse news: Surveys documenting falling wage actually under-estimate how much your wages are declining.
Of the 11 countries examined, the authors report that median hourly earnings fell further behind average hourly earnings in 10, with France the exception and there the change was minuscule. This finding represents fresh proof of increasing wage inequality. The biggest increasing in this measure of wage inequality is — surprise! — the United States, followed by Britain. OK, United Statesians or Britons reading these lines won’t be surprised.
A recent entrant to this labor literature, a research paper titled “Decomposing the Productivity-Wage Nexus in Selected OECD Countries, 1986-2013,” studied 11 advanced-capitalist countries and found that in eight of them median wages have not kept pace with growth in labor productivity. To put the preceding sentence in clear language: You are producing more and getting paid less.
You likely did not need to read the above to know that. But there is nothing wrong with confirmation. The paper’s authors, Andrew Sharpe and James Uguccioni, publishing in the International Productivity Monitor, wrote:
“In eight of the 11 [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries examined in this article, median real wage growth since the mid-1980s has not kept pace with labour productivity growth. The size of the growth gap between labour productivity and median real wages differs across countries, but the qualitative pattern is consistent: workers are growing more productive, but those productivity gains are not being matched by growth in the typical worker’s wage.”
The 11 countries studied were Canada, the United States, Norway and eight members of the European Union — Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. Working people in the United States will not be surprised to find that the widest gap between pay and productivity growth occurred there, with Germany in second place. Spain, Norway and Ireland were the three exceptions, although in each the gain in wages over productivity is small.


Matt Franko said...

All of those nations have seen significant immigration from the turd world.... so ofc material results measured systemically are going to be less than ideal...

Kaivey said...

Mark Blyth says Europeans aren't having enough children so they need to let the immigrants in who will do the work to pay the pensions. You can't win either way.

Anyway, I would have thought it was a good thing to get the population down. We are going to have to rely more on technology to so the work.

Unknown said...

You can solve the problem by bringing in young people from abroad to do the work, or through productive investment. Old people don't like productive investment because they're nearing the end of their lives and they prioritize current consumption. Their selfishness is creating a situation in which they therefore need the immigration that's pissing them off.

Kaivey said...

Good point. They need to be educated.