Labor market tightness following the height of the Covid-19 pandemic led to an unexpected compression in the US wage distribution that reflects, in part, an increase in labor market competition. Rapid relative wage growth at the bottom of the distribution reduced the college wage premium and counteracted approximately one-quarter of the four-decade increase in aggregate 90-10 log wage inequality. Wage compression was accompanied by rapid nominal wage growth and rising job-to-job separations—especially among young non-college (high school or less) workers. Seen through the lens of a canonical job ladder model, the pandemic increased the elasticity of labor supply to firms in the low-wage labor market, reducing employer market power and spurring rapid relative wage growth among young non-college workers who disproportionately moved from lower-paying to higher-paying and potentially more-productive jobs.
- Date Posted:
- March 3, 2023
Arvind Subramanian, an academic at Brown University in the US and former chief economic adviser to the Indian government calculates that in the decade or so since the global financial crisis, China gave up about $150bn of global market share in labor-intensive goods, of which India attracted no more than 10 per cent. The share of manufacturing in the Indian economy actually declined over that period. Calling yourself a globalizer doesn’t make you one. Modi sounds a lot more ambitious about competing in the world economy than many of his predecessors. But despite his government’s professed outward-looking export policy, it’s still too allergic to two-way trade to take full advantage of the huge space in global supply networks that is being opened up as China moves on.