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Changing Patterns Of Factor Income Distribution, 1870-2000

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assesses the empirical validity of the conjectured secular inequality trend by focusing on changing patterns of factor income distribution in the long twentieth century. It estimates the effects of changes in relative wages and the employment structure on the aggregate labour share in national income over time. It then expands the scope Williamson's analysis by taking wage and labour force series on board for various categories of wage earners between 1870 and 2000. These wage series are presented as a percentage share of average GDP per person engaged. The chapter introduces the formal procedure adopted to decompose national income into underlying factor income shares. Then the trends and features of the labour force data and the trends and features of the wage data are discussed. The chapter finally presents and interprets the results of the factor income share estimation.

Keywords: aggregate labour share; employment structure; factor income distribution; labour force data; relative wages; wage data; Williamson's analysis



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