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ADBI Workshop on Labor Income Share in Asia: Conceptual Issues, Drivers, and Policy Implications

Event | 12 - 13 June 2018 ADBI, Tokyo, Japan
Time of event

Day 1: 09:15–18:30
Day 2: 09:00–14:00 (Tentative)


In recent years, many studies have documented a global decline in the labor income share. The downward trend of labor income share has important implications for economic growth and income distribution; declining labor income share has contributed to rising income inequality in many Asian countries since the 1990s.

The current literature on labor income share faces two major challenges. First, evidence on the drivers of the labor income share is at best mixed. Second, measurement of labor income share is often plagued by the existence of self-employment and the informal sector. This ADBI workshop on labor income share in Asia aims to address these issues. It combines theoretical research and policy-relevant empirical studies on measuring labor income share, the drivers of labor income share, and labor income share and personal income distribution. Furthermore, we focus on specific factors related to labor income share, namely:

  • capital-augmenting technological progress,
  • capital labor substitutability,
  • productivity slowdown,
  • globalization, and
  • labor market institutions.

Professor Gary Fields, recipient of the 2014 IZA Prize in Labor Economics, is the key note speaker for the conference.

  • Understand the drivers of the labor income share, particularly in Asian countries
  • Discuss measurement issues with the help of novel techniques
  • Investigate the mechanisms and impacts of change in labor income share on income inequality
  • Leading scholars and policy makers
  • Experts from ADB and other international organizations
  • Promotion of discussions on the above issues to help design effective policies in Asia
  • Workshop with experts and leading scholars
  • Completed ADBI working papers
  • An academic book published by ADBI or a special issue in a reputed journal, with Professor Gary Fields as guest editor