Male Earnings: Worse Than We Thought?

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"Male Earnings: Worse Than We Thought?"

Via David Leonhardt, a disturbing chart from the Hamilton Project suggesting that the wage picture for men is worse than it appears:

The red line is the customary one. It shows the wages for male full-time workers. But the share of working-age men who are employed full-time has been falling, with the reduction coming disproportionately from lower-skilled men. So the blue line, which represents the wages for all men and offers what’s arguably more of an apples-to-apples comparison, shows a much darker picture.

I think this is a reminder that we don’t see enough discussion of feminism as an economic phenomenon. What’s been the macroeconomic policy response to a substantial increase in the potential labor force? Is this decline in male workforce participation a sign of bad labor market conditions, or the statistical manifestation of social change in gender roles? What’s the workforce participation rate we want to have?

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