[OPE-L:3054] Re: Marxian Empirical Research

Iwao Kitamura (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 08:46:27 -0700 (PDT)

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Andrew T [3050]F

>To get around this problem the micro
>approach decomposes the wage into two parts: a part which is correlated with
>labour quality and a
> part which is not. The wage equation regresses
>wages on characteristics which represent both these influences on the wage.
>The objective is to control for the non-quality related factors such as
>your change in management policy. e.g. if the wage equation was run
>over the 1980s the ascendency of management could be to some extent
>controlled for by, say, a variable showing the number of days lost
>through strikes, or the number of strikes. Obviously there will always
>be severe data limitations since a large part of the variation in
>wages cannot be predicted by a regression equation; but it might just
>improve on approaches which just use raw wages.

I appreciate your idea to decomposes the wage into two parts. In order to
estimate time series macro wage rate function, I have included days lost through
strikes along with other factors such as unemployment rate, CPI or deflator of
household consumption, average age of employees, etc. But had no idea and
experience of adopting days lost by industry to estimate cross-sectional micro
wage function. In the current situation in Japan, it's disappointing almost no
numerical datas are available to describe class relation because Japan has
experienced almost no strike these 20 years!

Now still two problems would remain:

1. (theoretical) selection of which factor is quality-related (value- related) and which is not.
age and sex would seem to be rather classified into the category of institutional
factors to my eyes.
2. (technical) same job is often occupied by workers who have various educational
backgrounds. Do you have any idea to estimate this ?

>I would be interested to know if there is much of a literature on
>wages and the structure of class relationships in Japan.

As far as I know, quantative analysis is not common among marxian economists in
Japan. Analysis of class relationship is often studied deeper in a particular industry.
I hope Makoto or Mariko would correct my misunderstanding if above is not true.
Since I work for a bourgeois thinktank (Jerry, is it really forbidden by Marx? :) ),
I see (and do) many attempts to estimate micro- and macro- wage function with
various factors. I tend to think that one can apply such to analysis of wage structure
at the level of analysis of current situation in marxian sense.

BTW, I hope we could exchange more on empirical studies.

in Solidarity,

Iwao Kitamura