Wages – OECD data and analyses

A young fellow I know was looking to model a sample of conspicuous consumers’ online behavior. We got to speaking about the prosperity of market segments across the globe, and that led me to consider parts of the Online OECD Employment database.


Average annual wages are obtained by dividing the national-accounts-based total wage bill by the average number of employees in the total economy, which is then multiplied by the ratio of the average usual weekly hours per full-time employee to the average usually weekly hours for all employees. This indicator is measured in USD constant prices using 2012 base year and Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for private consumption of the same year. Read more details on the estimation of average annual wages.




Earnings dispersion: this dataset contains three earnings-dispersion measures – ratio of 9th-to-1st, 9th-to-5th and 5th-to-1st – where ninth, fifth (or  median) and first deciles are upper-earnings decile limits, unless otherwise indicated, of gross earnings of full-time dependent employees. The incidence of low pay refers to the share of workers earning less than two-thirds of median earnings. The incidence of high pay refers to the share of workers earning more than one-and-a-half time median earnings.

Gaps: The gender wage gap is calculated as the difference between median earnings of men and women relative to median earnings of men. The age wage gap is calculated as the difference between mean earnings of 25-54 year-olds and that of 15-24 year-olds (respectively 55-64 year-olds) relative to mean earnings of 25-54 year-olds.  Earnings by skill (or education levels) refer to mean annual earnings of full-time full-year 25-64 year-old employees. Earnings gaps by skill levels are calculated as the difference between mean earnings of medium-skilled employees and low- (respectively high-) skilled employees relative to mean earnings of medium-skilled employees.


In a later post, we will look at deriving indices from the run-of-the-mill OECD datasets that might characterize the sort of prosperity that marks the conspicuous consumer.

Also see: