A failure to grow

Susan Walsh notices that median male income hasn’t kept pace with GDP growth:

WHY? Economists can’t explain it, it’s still a matter of conjecture. Alex Tabarrok’s thoughts:

The big difference between female and males as far as jobs, of course, has been labor force participation rates, increasing strongly for the former and decreasing somewhat for the latter. Most of the female change, however, was over by the mid to late 1980s, and the (structural) male change has been gradual.

Female education levels have increased dramatically and male levels have been relatively flat.

Females are also more predominant in services and males in manufacturing: plumbers, car mechanics, carpenters, construction workers, electricians, and firefighters, for example are still 95%+ male.

The primary factor is no mystery and is connected to the labor participation rates, but not for the reason suggested. Both male and female participation rates did most of their changing prior to 1973. That was the year that the number of older men leaving the labor force finally stopped compensating for the number of young women entering it. So, that is the point when wages finally began feeling the effects of the oversupply of labor from the increase in women entering the work force from the 33.9 percent who had always worked.

The secondary factor is the mass transfer of income that takes place from productive private sector men to unproductive public sector women that has been made possible by the mass borrowing in the public sector. More details on this later.