Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/104262
Authors: 
Schlicht, Ekkehart
Year of Publication: 
2008
Series/Report no.: 
Munich Discussion Paper 2008-1
Abstract (Translated): 
Wage Dispersion and Efficiency. It is often assumed that markets generate efficient allocations, but these are not necessarily fair. The widening of wage differentials that is currently observed is interpreted in this manner: Skill-biased technological progress increases demand for skilled work and makes unskilled labor redundant. Increasing wage dispersion is seen as a market response to an increased scarcity of skilled workers. While wage differentials are widening, we observe at the same time increasing over-qualification in all segments of the labor market. This suggests an increasing abundance of skilled workers, rather than shortage. This paper suggest an explanation for the joint occurrence of wage dispersion and over-qualification. Wage dispersion is brought about by the wage-setting policies of firms that respond to an increased importance of skill differences among workers. The widening wage differentials render the acquisition of skills more rewarding. As a result, wage dispersion and over-qualification increase together. Both are inefficient. Policies that bring wage differentials closer to compensating differentials will increase both efficiency and fairness, quite in line with the classical position taken by Adam Smith on these issues.
Subjects: 
Wage structure
wage dispersion
wage compression
over-qualification
over-education
fairness
efficiency
wage competition
job competition
Reder competition
Adam Smith
Alfred Marshall
compensating differentials
job rents
skill-biased technological progess
heterogeneity-biased technological progress
Lohnstruktur
Lohnspreizung
Überqualifikation
Lohnkompression
Gerechtigkeit
Effizienz
Reder-Wettbewerb
Lohnwettbewerb
Qualifikationswettbewerb
kompensierende Lohndifferentiale
Jobrenten
Adam Smith
Alfred Marshall
skill-biased technological progess
heterogeneity-biased technological progress
JEL: 
D43
J31
J63
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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