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Why would wages rise for high-skilled labor?

The graph shows how wages rise for high-skilled labor even though supply increases. The graph has two upward sloping supply curves, two downward sloping demand curves, and two points of equilibrium.
The proportion of workers attending college has increased in recent decades, so the supply curve for high-skilled labor has shifted to the right, from S 0 to S 1 . If the demand for high-skilled labor had remained at D 0 , then this shift in supply would have led to lower wages for high-skilled labor. However, the wages for high-skilled labor, especially if there is a large global demand, have increased even with the shift in supply to the right. The explanation must lie in a shift to the right in demand for high-skilled labor, from D 0 to D 1 . The figure shows how a combination of the shift in supply, from S 0 to S 1 , and the shift in demand, from D 0 to D 1 , led to both an increase in the quantity of high-skilled labor hired and also to a rise in the wage for such labor, from W 0 to W 1 .

What factors would cause the demand for high-skilled labor to rise? The most plausible explanation is that while the explosion in new information and communications technologies over the last several decades has helped many workers to become more productive, the benefits have been especially great for high-skilled workers like top business managers, consultants, and design professionals. The new technologies have also helped to encourage globalization    , the remarkable increase in international trade over the last few decades, by making it more possible to learn about and coordinate economic interactions all around the world. In turn, the rising impact of foreign trade in the U.S. economy has opened up greater opportunities for high-skilled workers to sell their services around the world. And lower-skilled workers have to compete with a larger supply of similarly skilled workers around the globe.

The market for high-skilled labor can be viewed as a race between forces of supply and demand. Additional education and on-the-job training will tend to increase the supply of high-skilled labor and to hold down its relative wage. Conversely, new technology and other economic trends like globalization tend to increase the demand for high-skilled labor and push up its relative wage. The greater inequality of wages can be viewed as a sign that demand for skilled labor is increasing faster than supply. On the other hand, if the supply of lower skilled workers exceeds the demand, then average wages in the lower quintiles of the income distribution will decrease. The combination of forces in the high-skilled and low-skilled labor markets leads to increased income disparity.

Key concepts and summary

Measuring inequality involves making comparisons across the entire distribution of income, not just the poor. One way of doing this is to divide the population into groups, like quintiles, and then calculate what share of income is received by each group. An alternative approach is to draw Lorenz curves, which compare the cumulative income actually received to a perfectly equal distribution of income. Income inequality in the United States increased substantially from the late 1970s and early 1980s into the 2000s. The two most common explanations cited by economists are changes in the structure of households that have led to more two-earner couples and single-parent families, and the effect of new information and communications technology on wages.


A group of 10 people have the following annual incomes: $55,000, $30,000, $15,000, $20,000, $35,000, $80,000, $40,000, $45,000, $30,000, $50,000. Calculate the share of total income received by each quintile of this income distribution. Do the top and bottom quintiles in this distribution have a greater or larger share of total income than the top and bottom quintiles of the U.S. income distribution for 2005?

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Frank, Robert H., and Philip J. Cook. The Winner-Take-All Society . New York: Martin Kessler Books at The Free Press, 1995.

Institute of Education Sciences: National Center for Education Statistics. “Fast Facts: Degrees Conferred by Sex and Race.” http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72.

Nhan, Doris. “Census: More in U.S. Report Nontraditional Households.” National Journal . Last modified May 1, 2012. http://www.nationaljournal.com/thenextamerica/demographics/census-more-in-u-s-report-nontraditional-households-20120430.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: BLS Reports. “Report 1040: Women in the Labor Force: A Databook.” Last modified March 26, 2013. http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-databook-2012.pdf.

U.S. Department of Commerce: United States Census Bureau. “Income: Table H-2. Share of Aggregate Income Received by Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent of Households.” http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/household/.

United States Census Bureau. 2014. “2013 Highlights.” Accessed April 13, 2015. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/.

United States Census Bureau. 2014. “Historical Income Tables: Households: Table H-2 Share of Aggregate Income Received by Each Fifth and Top 5% of Income. All Races.” Accessed April 13, 2015. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/household/.

Questions & Answers

Compare and contrast between Natural and Artificial Resources and their ultimate impacts in an economy. Give one example to support your discussion.
Angela Reply
Exemple: Diamant or uranium, fer, calcaire
how does interest rate affect aggregate output
kelvin Reply
what is Keynesian theory
need a curves for typical isoquost and isoquant
what is isoquant
isoquat is a curve shows differnt combinations of two inputs which can produce same level of output
examples of giffen goods
then what isoquost
, if the price of an essential food staple, such as rice, rises it may mean that consumers have less money to buy more expensive foods, so they will actually be forced to buy more rice.
that's an example
majid Khan that's the wrong definition of isoquant
you are defining isocost
isocost curve is a locus of points that shows the different combinations of commodities purchased by a consumer with a fixed budget
The change in fiscal policy leads to an increased level of output and interest rates is because an increase in government expenses directly affects aggregate demand. A decline in taxes result in more disposable income, consequently leading to a rise in consumption expenditure.
dats for kelvin
dats d answer for the audio how does interest rate affect aggregate output
question not audio
u are right joker
what is journal entry?
explain the nature of economics
Matilda Reply
interpret micro economic issues
ito ang dami ng producto na nais handa at kanyang ibenta ng isang prodyuser
Jomar Reply
i dont understand
even I also don't understand ..this language.. vn I converse everybody say farzana ur language is not understood by all user? now no one there is question about it?
he is saying that "this is the amount of product it wants to be ready and sells by a producer"
I Merr has knowledge,which is the economiccircuit role in a society
What is diminishing returns?
Shadrach Reply
explain competitive demand
the demand that are compiting for sale. the buyer can substitute one for another good
the demand where commodities fight for the market. in this type of demand, commodities can be substituted for the most suitable one subject to ( price, consumers choice, consumers income etc)
Demand is said to be competitive when a commodity that is needed to satisfy wants in place of another similar goods. increase in price of a commodity X will result in increase in demand of the substitute (commmodity Y).
examples of giffen goods are garri (cassava), maize
yusuf Reply
what is Public Finance?
kweku Reply
it's basically the field of economics that deals with the government's involvement in the economy; from spending to maybe interest rate manipulation, etc.
examples of giffen goods
i want to get the solutions of problems how i get kindly give guidance
Syeda Reply
please give some suggestions about getting solutions of all chapters...
hard work
and the grace of God
knowledge skills
Syeda Economics is difficult. No all fields are difficult
what is Keynesian
Keynesian economics is the theory proposed by Keynes( an economist). He proposed to manipulate demand side factors to bring economy out of depression in 1930s.
whose totaly oppossid the government intervention and give importance to agreegad demand
Good afternoon my fellow forum brothers and sisters
Abdullahi Reply
no just want to know true God
Good afternoon!!
hey is there somebody single n young like me bcoz I'm looking for
what is facing trade offs
Nancy Reply
It is giving up a commodity to purchase another commodity
for example, when we have two commodities like chicken and turkey you can trade off of give up chicken to purchase turkey
that can also be called foregone goods
it like opportunity cost
it's like trade by batter
Do you transform into thesecourses, in french people?
I can just speak french andI can just speak french and no english
what is elastic
Tida Reply
elastic is the change in to price and change in demand
Is the percentage change in quantity demand and quantity supply.
Or percentage change in price of demand and supply
Robert Mensah you are explaining elasticity of demand
robert i think he talk about elastic releated to elasticity of price a proportionate change in price over qd
can anyone explain what happrn her i don't understand anything
is the percentage change in demand as price change
sometimes price is elastic,inelastic
price elasticity is different from price being elastic
elasticity is not always the percentage change in demand as a result of changes in price. there's income elasticity and cross elasticity so it's not necessarily always price
elastic is when a change in price of a commodity results in a relatively a larger proportion change in the quantity demand of the commodity
what is inelastic
Tida Reply
price is said to be inelastic when it is less than 1
what is national income accounting
Aisha Reply
National income is the income earned by all factors of production..
So this benefits the workers or the businesses?
Like whose income are we talking about here
what is multiplier
Good & services manufactured in a country with in one year is calld national income
incom earned by using of sources of production is national income while i dont know the accounting insuch
neil and aisha can u explain the turm accounting in such question
I think when we include accounting national income accounting is the measurement of total goods and services produced in an economy in a given period of time
what is mutual funds
Khalid Reply
it is a combination of financial securities such as treasury bills , bonds etc in one managed by an institution that individuals and firms invest in for profit. it is usually a long term investment and is seen as a low risk investment because the financial instruments invested in, are diversified.
A mutual fund is a professional managed investment that pools money from many investors to invest.

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