Home > income redistribution > Chart of the day: real wages and labour productivity in developed economies 1999-2011

Chart of the day: real wages and labour productivity in developed economies 1999-2011

from David Ruccio

According to a new report from the International Labor Organization, Global Wage Report 2012/13: Wages and Equitable Growth,

Between 1999 and 2011 average labour productivity in developed economies increased more than twice as much as average wages (see figure 11). In the United States, real hourly labour productivity in the non-farm business sector increased by about 85 per cent since 1980, while real hourly compensation increased by only around 35 per cent. In Germany, labour productivity surged by almost a quarter over  


  1. sergio
    December 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    And…? What is the point? Where is economics? Where are the connections? Where are casual relations? Where is logic and reasoning? Where is mechanism, which links wages and productivity? What lessons can developing countries learn? Increase wages to increase productivity? Or increase productivity to increase wages?
    This is statistics. This is not economics. This is “trees make the wind blow”.

  2. December 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Here is charted an interesting economic history which illustrates where unity to overthrow the oppressor class is rooted, and why the roots are so deep.

  3. alexander
    December 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Es una estocada a las tonterias de la insostenibilidad del sistema de reparto público de pensiones. Demuestra que aunque menos masa laboral, más productividad existe por trabajador.

  4. Lucy Honeychurch
    December 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Good questions Sergio.

    I would posit the graph is a piece of the proof to the hypothesis that – whether applied in medieval times, Victorian times, Edwardian times, early 20th Century times, or modern times – trickle-down is a fallacy.

    But of course after all these years, modern economics continues to be fascinated with theoretical games of pocket pool based on assumptions of equilibria, rather than coming to consensus on real world questions …

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