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An Introduction to the Wage Curve

By David G. Blanchflower and Andrew J. Oswald

Abstract

This paper documents a statistical regulatity or law. It shows that there exists a downward-sloping curve linking the level of a worker's pay to the unemployment rate in the worker's region. The same curve can be found in microeconomic data sets from sixteen countries. The existence of this curve raises doubts about conventional wisdom in labor economics, regional economics, and macroeconomics.

DOI identifier: 10.1257/jep.9.3.153
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