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Alternative Models of Earnings Determination and Labor Market Structures

Eric A. Hanushek
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Spring, 1981), pp. 238-259
DOI: 10.2307/145510
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/145510
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Alternative Models of Earnings Determination and Labor Market Structures
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Abstract

There are three distinct research traditions in the analysis of individual earnings determination: human capital, or earnings function, analyses; aggregate wage analyses; and labor demand analyses. An important and incongruous aspect of each is the treatment of geographical differences in labor markets. This paper first investigates the magnitude and character of geographical wage differentials. The sizable differences discovered there are then related to the existing, and highly simplified, models of labor market differences. While the two major classes of models (compensating differentials and labor demand) differ significantly in assumptions and implications, it is impossible to distinguish adequately between them. There appears to be a clear need for more structural analyses of labor market operations.

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