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Are workers paid their marginal product? evidence from a low wage labour market

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Because of labour market frictions, the supply of labour to a firm does not fall instantaneously to zero if an employer cuts wages. This gives employers some monopsony power. In the absence of trade unions, minimum wages and efficiency wage considerations a profit-maximising employer will set a wage below the marginal revenue product of labour so that workers are, to use the terminology of Hicks and Pigou, exploited. This paper presents a method for computing the rate of exploitation. This method is then applied to a unique data set on workers in residential homes for the elderly on England''s sunshine coast. We conclude that, on average, firms pay workers about 15% less than their marginal product.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6124/

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