Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/58464
Authors: 
Ashenfelter, Orley
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6500
Abstract: 
A real wage rate is a nominal wage rate divided by the price of a good and is a transparent measure of how much of the good an hour of work buys. It provides an important indicator of the living standards of workers, and also of the productivity of workers. In this paper I set out the conceptual basis for such measures, provide some historical examples, and then provide my own preliminary analysis of a decade long project designed to measure the wages of workers doing the same job in over 60 countries - workers at McDonald's restaurants. The results demonstrate that the wage rates of workers using the same skills and doing the same jobs differ by as much as 10 to 1, and that these gaps declined over the period 2000-2007, but with much less progress since the Great Recession.
Subjects: 
real wage rates
international comparisons
productivity
JEL: 
C81
C82
D24
J31
N30
O57
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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