Addressing the Problem of Stagnant Wages
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From the mid-1940s through the 1970s, median wages and productivity growth rose in tandem. Since the 1980s productivity continued to grow steadily while wages stagnated. In this paper we document these trends, explore the reasons for these divergent trends, and outline a mix of policy, institutional, and organizational changes needed to restore wage growth and improved living standards for the American workforce.
Keywordswages labor policy productivity
JEL ClassificationsJo8 Labor Economics Policies
An earlier version of this paper was prepared for the Employment Policy Research Network http://www.employmentpolicy.org/topic/12/research/addressing-problem-stagnant-wages. We thank Alan Benson for his research assistance and Joseph Blasi, Jerry Davis, Richard Freeman, Doug Kruse, Ruth Milkman, Daniel J. Mitchell, Richard J. Murnane, Paul Osterman, Jeffrey Pfeffer, and Michael Piore for their comments.
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