The “Unexpected Compression”

of real wages. Or as the FT article summarizes it, “America’s lowest-earning workers are enjoying higher wage growth than top earners, after taking into account the effects of the recent bout of high inflation.” From Autor, Dube and McGraw (2023).

84 thoughts on “The “Unexpected Compression”

  1. pgl

    “Seen through the lens of a canonical job ladder model, the pandemic increased the elasticity of labor supply to firms in the low-wage labor market, reducing employer market power and spurring rapid relative wage growth among young non-college workers who disproportionately moved from lower-paying to higher-paying and potentially more-productive jobs.”

    Nice to see the authors talking about actual economics when reviewing the data. Let’s hope our Usual Suspects can at least try to do the same as opposed to their usual hyperventilating with their pet terms that mean nothing.

  2. JohnH

    Autor’s findings are generally consistent with what was reported by

    Interesting enough, the Autor paper seems to exclude the top 10%.

    While incomes of the bottom 50% did grow somewhat much faster after the steep decline of early 2020, their share of factor income is still below what it was in January, 2020. By contrast, the income share of the top 10% grew from 46.5% to 48.3%.

    1. pgl

      Are you a mental retard who never learned to READ?

      “America’s lowest-earning workers are enjoying higher wage growth than top earners, after taking into account the effects of the recent bout of high inflation.”

      This paper will talking about real wages – not real income. And the chart Dr. Chinn provided showed the top decile for real WAGES declined. So no – “the Autor paper seems to exclude the top 10%” is FALSE. Either you are lying or you need to get back to your preK remedial reading.

      Come on Jonny – try acting like an adult and maybe someday in the distant future, you might be invited to join the grown ups in a productive honest and informed conversation.

      1. Noneconomist

        JohnH is on record as being a powerful “reckoner”. How he reckoned the paper “seemed to exclude the top 10%” would be a mystery if we weren’t talking about JohnH.

    2. pgl

      This post clearly began with ‘The “Unexpected Compression” of real wages’

      Of course, JohnH reads this and thinks it was about overall real income by decile. Yes – little Jonny boy has flunked preK reading for the 10th year in a row!

      1. JohnH

        Compression of real wages is basically a sick joke. Yes, growth rates and wages got compressed by a few percent. But to get the real effect, you need to look at the vast disparity between wages of the 10% decile and and those of the 90% decile. Unfortunately neither Autor nor realtimeinequality do that. However realtimeinequalty does allow us to compare the incomes of the bottom 50% and those of the middle 40%…and the absolute dollar disparity is enormous. However, enormous as that disparity is, it is small compared to the disparity between the middle 40% and the top 10%.

        Basically, the net effect of the compression that Autor is talking about amounts to a pebble dropping into a pond. Worse, compression has been reversed since September 2022, Autor’s last data point.

        1. pgl

          A sick joke? Someone who used to get only $10 an hour is not getting $18 an hour is a sick joke?

          OK Jonny boy – we know you have no effing idea what this paper is about. I would say go READ it but then again you are too stupid to understand the issue, their research, or their results.

          1. pgl

            When one has to deal with the serial lies, stupidity, and BS from JohnH, one at times falls prey to writing sloppy things like this:

            “Someone who used to get only $10 an hour is not getting $18 an hour is a sick joke?”

            Yea – he is not getting $18 an hour since real wages went up by 20% (per Dr. Chinn’s graph) so a proper edit would be “now getting $12 an hour”.

            Of course Jonny boy thinks 120% of $10 = $11, which he calls a sick joke and a hill of beans. Yea – Jonny has a real talent in dumbing down any conversation.

        2. pgl

          “But to get the real effect, you need to look at the vast disparity between wages of the 10% decile and and those of the 90% decile”

          Mother of God – they clearly did. Oh wait – they clearly were looking at the wages of workers. You seems to think they were looking at the incomes of everyone else.

          Come on Jonny boy – try to at least understand the issues noted in the paper before you get back on your little soap box and start yapping like the carnival barker you are.

          1. JohnH

            why doesn’t pgl bother to look at the realtimeinequality to see how vast the disparity is?

            pgl’s claim that those making previously $10 are now making $18 and hour is a figment of his imagination…it’s more like those making $10 per hour are now making $11 per hour. In other words crumbs from trickle down. By comparison, those formerly making $45 per hour are now making $44 per hour. Wow! Huge compression AKA sick joke.

            Absolute numbers are important…

          2. pgl

            May 3, 2023 at 4:54 am
            ‘why doesn’t pgl bother to look at the realtimeinequality to see how vast the disparity is?”

            You ARE mentally retarded. One more time – your link talks about overall income for workers, business owners, etc. Did you READ the post or the paper? It talks about real wages for workers? I guess little Jonny boy does not know the difference.

            BTW I never said the lower quartile got an 80% increase in real wages so once again you lied about what I said. Dr. Chinn’s graph show they got a 20% increase not your 10% increase. But I get it – you never learned to read a graph.

          3. baffling

            john, not sure why you should have an issue with disparity in pay. different work and qualifications should have different levels of pay. that is capitalism and free markets. as a concept, that is the model that we should be adopting. we are not a communist society.

            now it may be that there are individual workers who deserve more based upon their work ethic, experience, etc. and there are workers who are overpaid based upon their productivity. but that is not an indictment of the concept of free markets. that is an indictment on the managers and decision makers of a company. the solution to that is not communism. it is better management.

  3. Moses Herzog

    There’s a comment to be made about this post, but I’m going to “let it be” because it never does any good or changes orthodox economists’ behavior anyway, so what’s the damned point?? Hope the three who wrote the paper enjoy their “Corporation XYZ” endowed chairs.

    1. pgl

      Autor and et al. were challenging “orthodox economists” if that means right wingers like Greg Mankiw who continue to deny the prevalence of market power. I’m just waiting for Princeton Steve to go off on how monopsony power cannot exist even if this research shows otherwise.

      1. Moses Herzog

        It strikes me that one, they are painting an overly rosy picture of the last few months as regards low wage earners, and two, how quick mainstream economists want to claim things are getting better for low wage earners. Like “Well folks the great unwashed got 3 whole drops in the bucket these last 6 months rather than the usual one drop. Oh my GOD!!! Let’s all go to a rave party while the rich endow us with this lust-filled moment!!!”

        Get M’F-ing real.

        1. pgl

          Not saying low wage workers are doing great. They aren’t. But reducing monopsony power is a good thing which is what this paper was about even if little Stevie insists such market power cannot exists.

        2. pgl

          Oh wait – little Stevie has made a comment. And guess what – he actually says Autor et al. must have been talking about China’s labor market. Yea – little Stevie is that DUMB!

        3. JohnH

          “It strikes me that one, they are painting an overly rosy picture of the last few months as regards low wage earners, and two, how quick mainstream economists want to claim things are getting better for low wage earners…”

          I couldn’t agree more!

          Apparently “public policy” has been reduced to comforting the comfortable and (mostly) ignoring the rest.

          1. pgl

            It is official – you are truly the dumbest troll God ever created. Hey little Jonny boy – why have you not read the research paper? Oh – it is economics which means you would not understand it anyway. Carry on troll.

          2. pgl

            Apparently when you are caught totally misreading a paper (which you do often) you decide not to admit your stupidity as you write intellectual trash like “Apparently “public policy” has been reduced to comforting the comfortable and (mostly) ignoring the rest”

            Such a childish insult certainly does not apply to David Autor. But of course little Jonny boy has to throw his little temper tantrums as he is too lazy to ever learn to READ.

            Look Jonny boy – everyone knows you are stupid. Everyone knows you are a little lying fool. So find some other blog to pollute as NO ONE here thinks you are worth even a hill of beans.

          3. Moses Herzog

            The authors of the paper did kind of “bury the lead” as journalists say.

            If a large part of the point of the paper was monopsony power, why not include that in the title of the paper?? I’m also curious to know in what way does a tight labor market decrease monopsony power?? The wages are STILL artificially capped~~I’d like you or Menzie to explain how that actually changes monopsony power levers?? It’s like saying you taught someone to swim while the pool was empty of water. What’s going to happen when the pool has water?? NOTHING HAS CHANGED and the writers of the paper choose a title that implies it has changed.

          4. pgl

            This to Moses who wondered why Autor el al. “buried the lead” by not telling us this had something to do with monopsony power which was weakened by the tight labor market. But wait – the title was:


            And as I noted, the abstract made all of this quite clear. Folks – forgot that stupid FT discussion and READ the actual paper. After all – it was well written.

          5. Moses Herzog

            I don’t suppose pgl noticed, not including the paper’s references (mostly to the authors’ own papers, “naturally”), the TOTAL number of times the term monopsony was used in the paper?? Total count??

          6. Moses Herzog

            Eleven times total if you also count the word monopsonistic.

            Here is actually the most illuminating part of this mostly useless paper:
            “This evidence has several limitations. One is that the relatively small size of the monthly CPS sample provides, at most, adequate precision for testing some of the key empirical implications of the imperfectly competitive model. Additionally, the infeasibility of accurately tracking workers’ job changes over the course of a year requires us to focus on industry change rather than job change as a measure of worker mobility, though job change is the object of interest underscored by theory. Third, and most critically, our evidence on the rise of the quit elasticity relies on using either own-wage residuals or estimated industry premia to proxy for rents—that is, the wage premia (or deficits) that workers receive, relative to their competitive wage level. A stronger test of the evolution of the quit elasticity would employ establishment-level measures of wage premia that are purged of workers’ own skill levels (or fixed effects).”

            That part was useful. BTW…… not much dialogue (or thought??) in the paper seems to be given to the idea that is is NOT “firm-to-firm” job change “competition” which caused wages to rise, but rather, in fact, just people quitting their jobs because working class have finally met their maximum capacity of eating shit and grinning.

  4. Macroduck

    “…after taking into account the effects of the recent bout of high inflation.”

    If lower wages are rising faster than higher wages, and you adjust both for inflation, the result doesn’t change. Even the FT confuses itself about this stuff.

    1. pgl

      Luckily for me I cannot get past that FT firewall so I had to read the actual paper. Which was well written.

  5. Moses Herzog

    There’s a slight delay between the pressing of the start button and when the Ryobi mower starts up, which scared me for a few seconds because I thought it wasn’t working, But it started up well and did the job, seemed to have enough power. I had less grass on the front yard than I thought I had, so it wasn’t a “major test” but it performed very well for roughly 40 minutes. Give it a B+ on the first run through. I will wait to do the back lawn since it seemed I wasn’t cutting much on the front, and give a 2nd report on my Ryobi mower in roughly one week, depending on rain activity here.

    1. pgl

      True story. When I was 8 years old, my dad helped me fix a lawn mower someone else threw away and it allowed me to make money cutting other people’s grass. His compensation was that I had to mow his lawn for free, which was cool. But one day the muffler fell off and this dumbass kid decided to pick it up so I would not run over it. My hand was burned so badly that dad had to finish cutting the lawn. Lesson learned – never pick up a muffler with a bare hand!

    2. baffling

      Did you get the 40V? Yeah, the start/stop of electric is odd at first. But it is quieter, and i can actually hear the music in my ear buds when i work, not just blocking the external lawnmower noise. If only they could develop self sharpening blades for those mowers…finally got my electric weed wacker out-it forms a set with the mower and blower. I can finish the yard work with three 18V batteries. Granted it is a small yard, but still not bad. i have about 6 batteries. They also run a nice portable fan and light, and a couple of inverters for emergency power supply, plus power tools. And no need to store gas and oil around the house, which is nice. Ever prep the gas powered mower, and then realize you have no gas? ruins the morning…

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ baffling
        I got the 40V one yes, I can look up the model number later. I’m trying to decide whether to get the weed wacker or the edger. I’m leaning towards getting the weed wacker I guess ‘cuz I just don’t give a damn if the edges of the lawn look that pristine. It does look nice but I just can’t see making that much effort for a small area in the front yard. So I will probably get the weed wacker for the crap growing up next to the house. There’s probably 13 year olds who know more about mowing lawns than I do, because my Dad never let me touch a mower growing up. And then as a semi-driver and living in China I never had to mow. So….. It’s kinda funny. One of the many quirky things of my arrested development. But I try to be smart and read up, and I give 1/4 credit to you on helping me pick out the Ryobi because I was hesitant but your words gave me the confidence to pick it up ‘cuz I trust you. And I’m VERY happy with it so far even though I just only tested it for 40 minutes in the front yard. I’m hoping to go at it again on the backyard Friday if I get super lucky and it doesn’t rain here the next roughly 36 hours. Otherwise it may be awhile. I guess I need to recharge the damn lithium thing anyway.

        1. baffling

          many weed wackers can rotate the head and act as an edger as well. mine even has a small wheel. follows sidewalks very nicely. the blower is nice, but gobbles up battery power very quickly. a weak blower is useless. but if it had an attachment to suck up the leaves and deposit into a bag, it would be golden. my brother has that. it is big and bulky, but lovely during fall season.
          you are lucky. my old man had boys, just so he could stop doing the chores around the house! it used to take us a half hour of tinkering just to get the gas mower started back in the day. probably why i dislike them so much to this day…and don’t get me started about that old tractor…

  6. pgl

    The authors describe the pre-pandemic labor market structure as one where there was “employer market power” (monopsony power):

    The role played by the competitive structure of the labor market, and its empirical manifestation in worker reallocation across jobs, has received comparatively less attention. Yet, there is reason to suspect a connection. A growing literature documents the importance of imperfect labor market competition in US workers’ pay determination: facing labor supply curves that are far from perfectly elastic, many firms are able to mark down wages below competitive levels

    When Dr. Chinn provided some of the previous literature on this issue, Princeton Steve jumped up and down trying to deny that monopsony power could ever exist. He is not alone. A lot of right wingers insist that higher minimum wages would lower job opportunities for younger and unskilled workers because the labor market was perfectly competitive. In the real world, however, it is not. BTW the authors note how the strong job market of late has made the labor market more competitive for the young and unskilled worker. Which of course contradicts the typical uninformed blather from JohnH.

    1. JohnH

      Yes, the labor market was briefly more competitive for younger, unskilled workers, as Autor points out. Well, that’s a nice observation. I won’t challenge research that shows that things briefly improved for a small segment of the labor market. But in the final analysis, did that amount to more than a hill of beans? Several different measures show that real wages and earnings have fallen back to where they were in 2019….and the top 10% keeps chugging along taking almost 50% of income, a fact the merits scant attention if not outright denial by the ilk of pgl.

      1. pgl

        Dr. Chinn must be a very tolerant person. He provides us with an interesting and important research paper and little Jonny boy gets all upset since he cannot understand what it was even about. Yea – you are one dumb worthless little troll.

      2. pgl

        Speaking of a hill of beans – let’s go back to UK real wages under Cameron who Jonny boy thought was great for workers:

        ‘On Thursday, the Institute for Fiscal Studies produced a report that suggested that a mid-range household’s income between 2013 and 2014 was 6% below its pre-crisis peak.’

        Now it is true that the decline in real wages was PARTIALLY reversed over the next year but that reversal was a “hill of beans” compared to the drop noted here by BBC. And yet little Jonny boy kept telling us UK real wages rose.

        Yes – little Jonny boy has always been a right wing liar. I have to wonder why the National Review did not hire this troll,

        1. JohnH

          Ah yes…the endless argument…when Krugman was hectoring us in 2015 about how much UK deflation was going to hurt UK workers, when in fact UK real wages were rising!

          But pgl insists on moving the goalposts back to an earlier time when inflation really was hurting workers’ real wages…and then goes on to blame the inflation on Cameron’s austerity! Go figure!

          1. pgl

            Why do you continue to lie? They fell by over 7% and then ONLY a partial reversal. Dr. Chinn has already called you out on this issue. And yet Jonny boy continues his dishonest defense of Cameron in spite of being put down by Simon Wren Lewis, Paul Krugman, and Dr. Chinn.


          2. pgl

            “pgl insists on moving the goalposts”

            Yes little Jonny has asked the NFL to put the goal posts at the 30 yard line. Alas the Commissoner refuses to do so.

            And yet little Jonny thinks this stupid debating trick has validity. YEA – he is THAT STUPID!

  7. pgl

    In other news, blame Clifford the Dog for cutting off funding for PBS?

    Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) is trying to strip funding from the state’s PBS TV station because it acknowledges LGBTQ+ people. Stitt shocked many when he recently vetoed H.B. 2820, a routine bill that would have approved funding for the Oklahoma Education Television Authority (OETA) – which broadcasts PBS in the state – through 2026….Later on, a Stitt spokeswoman provided examples of this LGBTQ+ “indoctrination” to Tulsa World. She explained that OETA had put on Pride Month programming over the past few years and also mentioned a PBS Newshour segment in which the parents of a trans child spoke about the benefits of gender-affirming care. She also decried episodes from two children’s cartoons (Work it out Wombats! and Clifford the Big Red Dog) that included lesbian characters.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Any people residing in Oklahoma the last 6+ months and is “shocked” by Stitt’s behavior is not paying attention.

      1. pgl

        I have to admit I did not even know who he was. But damn – he is beyond pathetic.

  8. Macroduck

    Clever, expensive idea from a Coke bottling plant in Indiana. The bottler sells 1500 square foot house to employees at below market prices, holding a right of first refusal at the origanal sales price for three years – no flipping.

    The subsidy to home purchase is a supplement to wages, but (I suspect) stickier. It increases the home ownership rate in the town, provides housing wealth and population stability. More of this, please.

    1. pgl

      A good discussion of the issues both sides face. This part makes me happy:

      Putin is still in a bind
      Russia is operating under sharp constraints. It, too, is expending more ammunition than it can produce. It is running short of precision-guided missiles, meaning that attacks like Friday’s are likely to become rarer. More to the point, Putin wants successes, but the more aggressive the Russian operations, the more losses they take and the sooner he will again be faced with the tough decision of how to make up the shortfall. Despite a media blitz that includes “be a man” adverts on every TV channel, it is clear that recruitment is underwhelming.
      Making up the losses will require either another wave of mobilisation or deploying conscripts. Both would be unpopular and Putin is unwilling to make those decisions so long as he can avoid them, especially before September’s regional elections.
      Thus, while forces beyond Zelensky’s control are pushing Kyiv to attack, Moscow is reluctantly committed to defence, relying only on the hope of outlasting Ukraine’s will to resist and the West’s willingness to bankroll it. Local attacks notwithstanding, this is about the only strategy that Putin can adopt.

      Now if someone wise in the Kremlin decides to take Putin out – everyone wins.

      1. JohnH

        pgl repeats what they’ve been saying for a year now: “Russia is operating under sharp constraints. It, too, is expending more ammunition than it can produce.'” At least that’s what they want you to believe. In the Vietnam War they used to call it the light at the end of the tunnel.

        Meanwhile, it’s the greatest and most expensive military in the world that is running out of ammo…classic case of projection.

        1. pgl

          Ukraine is the “greatest and most expensive military in the world”? I guess that is your excuse for the terrible performance of Putin’s military! Hey Jonny boy – be careful when they serve you your daily dog food as it may be tainted.

    2. Moses Herzog

      Ukraine is being told that, including allies, “You can’t shoot into Russian territory”. I’d like to know how the hell a country wins a war by being a voluntary punching bag?? The schoolyard bully pummels your face in while your schoolyard pals go “Now, don’t hit back whatever you do”.

      1. baffling

        the usa can easily provide all the military equipment needed, as long as the war is contained within ukraine. if ukraine enters russian territory using nato weapons, then moscow has an excuse (not a valid one, but an excuse) to escalate this war a number of different ways. all of which will put nato and the usa in a position to make some extremely difficult choices-which they would rather not make. ukraine can still win this war, even with the restriction of not shooting into russian territory. but it will come at a cost to them, which they understand. the point is, they can still win. the usa must determine at what point it puts boots on the ground and loses military lives. we are not at that point. yet. in the long run, this creates a free and independent ukraine. if they win…

        1. pgl

          Drones attacked the Kremlin. Of course they were Russian drones in a false flag operation. Putin is getting desperate as is his pet poodle – JohnH.

      1. JohnH

        Maybe we should start calling this Schrödinger’s Ukrainian counteroffensive?

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ pgl
            I guess I’m SUPER confused now (not a totally uncommon occurrence), I thought for a couple seconds there that he must have gotten the names screwed up and was referring to Gerhard Schroeder.

  9. pgl

    In other news:

    Icahn Enterprises (IEP) is an ~$18 billion market cap holding company run by corporate raider and activist investor Carl Icahn, who, along with his son Brett, own approximately 85% of the company. Our research has found that IEP units are inflated by 75%+ due to 3 key reasons: (1) IEP trades at a 218% premium to its last reported net asset value (NAV), vastly higher than all comparables (2) we’ve uncovered clear evidence of inflated valuation marks for IEP’s less liquid and private assets (3) the company has suffered additional performance losses year to date following its last disclosure.

    Whether these claims are valid, we do know that the people who put these reports together are short selling IEP.

  10. Steven Kopits

    Isn’t that what we would expect from the development of China? Initially, China competed in low wage markets, putting pressure on lower skilled wages, at least in terms of wage gains. As China begins to reach middle income status, its low wage labor has been absorbed and it is increasingly competing on a price basis with higher skilled labor. I don’t know if this the cause, but I have certainly been expecting this development for some time.

    1. ltr

      May 2, 2023

      Skilled workers discuss benefits reaped from efforts
      By Li Lei

      In the run-up to the May Day holiday, the State Council Information Office on Friday invited a group of China Skills Award winners and representatives of the country’s most skilled workers to share their stories about how their abilities have benefited themselves and their motherland.

      Li Hui, a senior electrician with the China Southern Power Grid and winner of a China Skills Award

      Workers are the ones who oversee the last step in the development of a new technology, engineering design or the implementation of a plan. If handled properly, there will be quality products and projects; if not, there may be a disaster. Such an irreplaceable role played by us workers is becoming increasingly notable and has won us respect at our company. I am an ordinary worker without an administrative title, but my pay is on a par with the head of our department. I have two workmates who are outstanding experts in our company, and their pay rivals that of the company’s deputy general manager.

      Wei Fengyun, a senior welder with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation

      Our company has been strengthening training for workers. The skills of front-line workers have improved notably, and there are more and more opportunities for us to participate and outshine others in various skills competitions and training programs. Also, our skill level is pegged to things such as job promotions and pay raises. Some highly skilled workers also become chief technicians or are promoted to other advanced positions.

      Zheng Zhiming, fitter with Guangxi Auto, an automaker headquartered in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region

      Last year, I was among the first skilled workers to be given the title of special-grade technician in Guangxi. That broke the “ceiling” of my expected career development. Our company is also improving the payment system for skilled personnel. Some highly skilled workers receive the same treatment as mid-level leaders, and the company also offers bonuses based on expertise and skills. This has greatly motivated skilled employees.

      Jin Kejuan, president of Anhui Fuyang Technician Institute

      When the institute was first established, it was difficult to recruit students. Only about 1,000 students enrolled every year. As a result, we continued to innovate our operations strategy, and we gradually devised one in which we now strive to ensure the college is like a factory, a classroom is like a workshop, a teacher is like a master and our students are like apprentices. Since then, the college has become a local business card. Today, more than 5,000 students are enrolled every year, and we now have nearly 20,000 on campus each year. As graduation approaches, enterprises swarm onto the campus. In some cases, employers have to compete for the attention of the graduating students.

      Ma Xiaoguang, milling machine operator with coach bus maker Beijing North Vehicle Group Corporation

      It was last year that I passed my evaluation and became one of our company’s first chief technicians. My salary has been increased to the leadership standard. I also participated in the company’s overseas training and exchange programs. Because of the good policies of the State and our company, I, as a common technical school graduate and ordinary worker, was able to become part of the National Skills Master Studio and won a China Skills Award.

    2. pgl

      China? I guess you just had to make comment even dumber than that BS from JohnH. Or maybe you were too lazy to actually READ the paper.

      Listen little Stevie boy – maybe you think monopsony power cannot exist in the US but there is a mountain of evidence that shows it clearly does. Read the paper and read the research before you make another pathetically stupid comment.

    3. ltr

      Steven Kopits:

      “As China begins to reach middle income status, its low wage labor has been absorbed and it is increasingly competing on a price basis with higher skilled labor.”

      [ This is an important argument. Chinese research and investment is meant to find applications that are implemented by increasingly skilled workers. This is as true for agricultural as for manufacturing workers. ]

      1. pgl

        You are now praising someone who hates China? Just wow. No – Stevie was trying to deny market power in the US with this stupid comment.

        1. ltr

          You are now praising someone who hates China?

          [ I quite understand, but however inadvertent the comment was useful and needed to be credited and developed. ]

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ ltr Your brain needs to be developed. But I’m afraid even nationalist subsidies can’t help in this case.

        2. ltr

          As I have stated numerous times, I am quite the Sinophile. On the other hand, Xi can destroy 500 years of progress and a good chunk of the northern hemisphere if he wakes up in a bad mood….

          [ This comment, however, reflects only a willful lack of knowledge about and a disdain for China; a lack of knowledge about and a disdain for a 5,000 year old civilization comprising 1.4 billion people. How saddening. ]

      2. Steven Kopits

        As I have stated numerous times, I am quite the Sinophile. On the other hand, Xi can destroy 500 years of progress and a good chunk of the northern hemisphere if he wakes up in a bad mood. If Xi follows Putin’s path, God help us all.

        On the other hand, China’s path to global hegemony is entirely clear and not even difficult. Hegemony just doesn’t mean what Xi thinks it means.

        1. pgl

          Hegemony! JohnH’s favorite pet term. But Jonny boy knows that it means? Come on Stevie – please mansplain this to the rest of us.

          BTW – Hegemony can mean dominance. But if one read some of the brilliant economics following the establishment of Bretton Woods (something an arrogant blow hard like you clearly have not), Hegemony referred to as leadership.

          So no – we do not need one of your stupid lectures on what hegemony means.

  11. pgl

    Coverage of the Senate hearing on Supreme Court Ethics Reform where I will highlight just two things:

    Conservative Judge Luttig got it right on the need for this.

    But now the clown show:

    Republicans also brought up Thomas’ bitter confirmation hearings in 1991, in which he was faced allegations that he sexually harassed Anita Hill, a former adviser to him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thomas famously called the hearings a “high-tech lynching.” “It is sad to see 30 years later this committee is again engaged in the same despicable tactics,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

    Ted Cruz and that clown from the State of Louisana should STFU and read what Luttig wrote.

  12. pgl

    I had to remind myself what the business model was for this company when I heard its 2023QI showed high profits:

    Marathon Petroleum Corporation (“MPC”) has 135 years of history in the energy business, and is a leading, integrated, downstream energy company. We operate the nation’s largest refining system with approximately 2.9 million barrels per day of crude oil refining capacity and believe we are one of the largest wholesale suppliers of gasoline and distillates to resellers in the United States. We distribute our refined products through one of the largest terminal operations in the United States and one of the largest private domestic fleets of inland petroleum product barges. In addition, our integrated midstream energy asset network links producers of natural gas and NGLs from some of the largest supply basins in the United States to domestic and international markets.

    MPC had decent profits in 2022 and early results for 2023 were even stronger. MPC does produce petroleum or natural gas but it does refinery and distribution. And to no surprise to people who have followed this sector (unlike Bruce Hall who just routinely lies blaming Biden) it does seem gasoline prices remain high relative to oil prices because refinery and distribution margins are above normal. Now Brucie is all about drill baby drill but that’s not going to address the high profits for companies like MPC.

  13. pgl

    China? I guess you just had to make comment even dumber than that BS from JohnH. Or maybe you were too lazy to actually READ the paper.

    Listen little Stevie boy – maybe you think monopsony power cannot exist in the US but there is a mountain of evidence that shows it clearly does. Read the paper and read the research before you make another pathetically stupid comment.

  14. pgl

    I have a small suggestion regarding figure 8 which is a nice way to show the increase over time for each group. And the lowest paid group got the highest increase.

    But Moses has a point here. Could we see the real wages of each group rather than just the change in real wages? The lower wage groups may be doing a bit of catching up but their real wages are still not exactly high.

    Now I might suggest you put in flashing bold that this is real wages the US labor market and not China (Princeton Steve’s confusion) or overall income for everyone including the rich (JohnH’s confusion) but then again – these two really do need to take remedial reading classes.

  15. Macroduck

    The Atlanta Fed’s Wage Tracker tells a similar story. There has been an acceleration of gains in lower wages relative to other wages prior to the Covid pandemic, which resumed with a vengeance in mid-2022. From the data available, gains in lower wages relati e to other wages sems to be a late-cycle phenomenon:

    (Click on “Job Switcher” link.)

    The relative gains for those without college is also evident from the Wage Tracker data – click on “Education”. Gains for lower educational achievement were also evident prior to Covid. (Click on “Education).

    With a little help from the Atlanta Fed, we can all do MIT-level economics.

  16. pgl

    Dr. Chinn’s chart shows the real wages for the bottom quartile rose by 20% from 2015 to the most recent data. JohnH calls this nothing more than a “hill of beans”.

    JohnH also claimed their real wage is back to its 2019 level. Look at the graph and real wages for this group is clearly above where they were in 2019.

    Yea JohnH does have a habit of saying the dumbest things!

  17. JohnH

    OK, so pgl is moving the goalposts back from pre-pandemic to2015. And, OK, let’s accept that real wages for the bottom 10% rose rose 20%. That means that real wages for the 10th percentile went from $10 to $12 while the 90th percentile stayed at $45. In other words, the real wage compression was $2! A nice gain for the poor, but trivial in terms of compression…and totally insignificant compared to the gains of the top 10%.

    Something else to consider is how much of that small compression was due to rising minimum wage laws vs. tight labor markets.

    1. pgl

      Your moving the goal posts line has to be the dumbest trolling device I have ever seen. Especially in your dishonest and pathetic attempt to claim the Cameron years were good for UK real wages.

      I guess little Jonny boy never learned to kick a football so his daddy place those goal posts on the 30 yard line for little Jonny boy. And poor little Jonny boy was shocked that the goal posts in high school were moved to where they are for all football games. Poor little Jonny boy!

    2. pgl

      “pgl is moving the goalposts back from pre-pandemic to2015.”

      No dumba$$ – I did not draw the graph. Dr. Chinn did. Oh wait – little Jonny boy once again is too stupid to read a simple graph!!

    3. pgl

      BTW a 7.5% increase in 2.5 years (since the pandemic) is really good. Of course your boy Cameron managed to lower real wages in the UK by that amount in his first five years. So we see why Jonny boy thought Cameron was great for UK workers.

      YEP – Jonny boy is THAT DUMB!

  18. Moses Herzog

    This paper is just Larry Summers trash is all it is. Pretty soon we won’t need right-wing economists to dish out wealthy excuses for screwing over working class wages. The left wingers will have it already covered. Philips curve—right up the with trickle down. These guys should just get a steno notebook and write down what the wealthy tell them and quit waisting our time with BS equations with “error term” (error term = rationalization for bullcrap).

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