As a consequence of falling relative demand for low skilled labor in the OECD, people with no or minor qualification experience a deterioration of their economic situation. While flexible labor markets have led to higher wage differentials in the USA, the major problem of most European countries is the high rate of unemployment of the low skilled. To integrate currently discussed determinants of wage distribution and unemployment into a common context, labor unions and qualification differences in labor supply are introduced to an OLG-model with heterogeneous agents. The model generates skill specific unemployment rates and a wage dispersion affected by production technology, wage setting procedure, and qualification structure of labor supply. As an application of the model, the relative importance of wage dispersion, unemployment, and lifelong learning for economic growth and income distribution can be evaluated.
wage and income inequality unemployment trade unions overlapping generations