Technological Change, Inequality and Work Sharing

Working Paper 2006-30


The effects of technological change on wage inequality are usually studied under the assumption of exogenous supplies of skilled and unskilled workers. Moreover, in these studies there is no distinction between the stock (number of workers) and the flow (hours of work) dimension of labour services. In the present paper we construct a model in which hours of work and technological change affect both the (relative) demand and supply of unskilled workers. The labour supply of unskilled workers (numbers of persons) is derived from a model of household labour supply in which households differ regarding the disutility suffered when both household members work. Combining together the (relative) supply and demand parts of the model we are able to study the effects of technological change on wage and income inequality and to provide an explanation of recent trends more consistent with the stylized facts.

Authors: Thomas Moutos.

Keywords: technological change, inequality, household labour supply, work sharing
JEL: D33, E25, J22, J31