Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Secular Movements in Swedish Wages

Secular movements of earnings differentials: Sweden 1870-2000
Jonas Ljungberg

This paper explores aspects of income distribution related to the skill premium over more than a century in Sweden. The dispersion of wages between branches of manufacturing over the whole period as well as the dispersion of earnings of employees with consideration of skills and gender, 1950-1990, is surveyed. Relative earnings of professionals are furthermore explored, showing a secular decline. The results of these two approaches concerning the skill premium since 1980 is somewhat contradictory. However, it is argued that when account is taken of the growth of human capital in the labour force at large, the skill premium of professionals displays a more favourable picture.

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