real wage

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Related to real wage: Money Wage

Real Income

Personal, corporate, or national income after accounting for inflation. Comparing one's real income from year to year shows how much income has grown or shrunk after adjusting for how much the buying power of the money has been affected. Nominal income compares only raw dollar amounts and does not account for inflation. For example, if one's nominal income has grown 10% and the inflation rate is 3%, the real income growth is 7%. Real income is also known as real wages. See also: Real GDP.

Real Wages

The wages that a person earns or that a company pays after adjusting for inflation. For example, if an employee makes $25,000 per year in both Year 1 and Year 2, but the inflation rate is 10%, that $25,000 is only worth 90% of its previous value ($22,500) in Year 2. This is good for the employer, but bad for the employee.
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real wage


real income

the MONEY WAGE rate divided by the general PRICE LEVEL of products. Notationally, this is written W/P If wages and prices both rise by, say, 10% from an initial index number of, say, 100, the original ratio of W/P is 100/100 = 1, and the new ratio of 110/110 is also 1. An increase in real wages occurs when wages rise more quickly than prices or prices remain constant. In the latter instance, a rise in wages of 10% would give the ratio 110/100 = 1.1, thus making the wage earner 10% better off because he is capable of purchasing 10% more products with his new wage.

The analysis of real and money wages in relation to employment and output is a continuing central theme within economics although it is generally thought to be real wages that determines the level of employment rather than money wages. See CLASSICAL ECONOMICS, KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS, MONEY ILLUSION.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
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