July 11, 2001

NOTE TO EDITORS

A new study by economists Hamid Mehran and Joseph Tracy may solve one of the "wage puzzles” of the 1990s--why compensation per hour (CPH) growth slowed in 1999 despite tightness in the labor market. The authors analyze compensation data that take into account the timing of employee stock option grants. When they recalculate CPH growth to reflect this timing, Mehran and Tracy find that their adjusted CPH measure accelerated in each year from 1995 to 1999 and that CPH growth did not slow in 1999.

The study, The Effect of Employee Stock Options on the Evolution of Compensation in the 1990s, will be published in an upcoming issue of the New York Fed's Economic Policy Review and is now available.

Contact: Steven Malin steven.malin@ny.frb.org