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A New Picture Of Swedish Earnings Inequality: Persistent And Transitory Components, 1960-1990

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  • Magnus Gustavsson

Abstract

Using a large individual longitudinal database, I decompose the cross-sectional variance of male annual earnings in Sweden between 1960 and 1990 into persistent and transitory components. The persistent variance displays a downward trend during the whole sample period, but with the rate of decline more rapid up until the early 1980s than afterwards. The transitory variance has increased from 1960 until the early 1970s, decreased slightly until the late 1970s, and then risen again during the second half of the 1980s. An important lesson from these results concern the interpretation of the rise in cross-sectional inequality observed after the 1983 breakdown of centralized bargaining in Sweden. While it has often been presumed that this growth reflected increased returns to skills, this study shows that it was in fact due to increased transitory earnings fluctuations. Copyright 2008 The Author. Journal compilation 2008 International Association for Research in Income and Wealth Published.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income and Wealth.

Volume (Year): 54 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 324-349

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:54:y:2008:i:3:p:324-349

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Cited by:
  1. Doris, Aedin & O'Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2010. "Identification of the Covariance Structure of Earnings Using the GMM Estimator," IZA Discussion Papers 4952, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Elsa Orgiazzi, 2013. "Factor Components of Inequality: A Cross-Country Study," AMSE Working Papers 1318, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
  3. Otto Kässi, 2014. "Earnings dynamics of men and women in Finland: permanent inequality versus earnings instability," Empirical Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 451-477, March.
  4. Erixon, Lennart, 2011. "Under the influence of traumatic events, new ideas, economic experts and the ICT revolution - the economic policy and macroeconomic performance of Sweden in the 1990s and 2000s," Research Papers in Economics, Stockholm University, Department of Economics 2011:25, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  5. Cecilia Garcia Peñalosa & Orgiazzi, E., 2011. "GINI DP 12: Factor Components of Inequality. A Cross-Country Study," GINI Discussion Papers, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies 12, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  6. Stephen Jenkins & Peter Lambert, 2011. "Robert Moffitt and Peter Gottschalk’s 1995 paper ‘Trends in the covariance structure of earnings in the US: 1969–1987’," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 433-437, September.

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