Disparate Wages in a Globalized World

Weisser, Veronica Iris (2014). Disparate Wages in a Globalized World. (Dissertation, University of Bern, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences)

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This study uses wage data from the UBS Prices and Earnings survey to highlight Disparate Wages in a Globalized World from di↵erent perspectives. This wage data is characterised by remarkable consistency over the last 40 years, as well as unusual global comparability. In the first chapter we analyse the convergence hypothesis for purchasing power adjusted wages across the world for 1970 to 2009. The results provide solid evidence for the hypotheses of absolute and conditional convergence in real wages, with the key driver being faster overall growing wage levels in lower wage countries compared to higher wage countries. At the same time, the highest skilled professions have experienced the highest wage growth, while low skilled workers’ wages have lagged, thus no convergence in this sense is found between skill groups. In the second chapter we examine deviations in international wages from Factor Price Equalisation theory (FPE). Following an approach analogous to Engel (1993) we find that deviations from FPE are more likely driven by the higher variability of wages between countries than by the variability of di↵erent wages within countries. With regard to the traditional analysis of the real exchange rate and the Balassa-Samuelson assumptions our analysis points to a larger impact on the real exchange rate likely stemming from the movements in the real exchange rate of tradables, and only to a lesser extent from the lack of equalisation of wages within countries. In the third chapter our results show that India’s economic and trade liberalisation, starting in the early 1990s, had very di↵erential impacts on skill premia, both over time and over skill levels. The most striking result is the large increase in wage inequality of high-skilled versus low-skilled professions. Both the synthetic control group method and the di↵erence-in-di↵erences (DID) approach suggest that a significant part of this increase in wage inequality can be attributed to India’s liberalisation.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Neusser, Klaus and Boes, Stefan


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Igor Hammer

Date Deposited:

10 Apr 2015 14:18

Last Modified:

10 Apr 2015 14:18



Additional Information:

e-Dissertation (edbe)





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