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Earnings Variability and Earnings Instability of Women and Men in Canada: How Do the 1990s Compare to the 1980s?

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  • Charles M. Beach
  • Ross Finnie
  • David Gray

Abstract

This paper uses LAD panel data to investigate how variability of workers' earnings and earnings instability for Canada changed between 1982­89 and 1990­97. Following the methodology of Gottschalk and Moffitt (1994), we decompose the total variation of workers' earnings into permanent variation and a transitory component (or earnings instability). It is found that: (i) there has been an increase in overall earnings variability among Canadian workers between the two sub-periods, with the increase much more marked among men, particularly with non-continuous labour market attachment; (ii) the greatest part of this increase in earnings variability was driven by widening "permanent" earnings differentials across workers and not by transitory movements in individuals' earnings; and (iii) men's earnings variability tends to be U-shaped across ages, whereas it is much flatter for women, and for both sexes earnings instability is high for young wor kers and decreases with age.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 29 (2003)
Issue (Month): s1 (January)
Pages: 41-64

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:29:y:2003:i:s1:p:41-64

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  1. Berube, Charles & Morissette, Rene, 1996. "Longitudinal Aspects of Earnings Inequality in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1996094e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. Osberg, Lars & Sharpe, Andrew, 2002. "An Index of Economic Well-Being for Selected OECD Countries," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 291-316, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2008. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Male Earnings in the U.S., 1970-2004," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 697, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Gray, David & Finnie, Ross & Beach, Charles M., 2006. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on the Instability and Long-Run Inequality of Workers' Earnings in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006268e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  3. Ostrovsky, Yuri, 2008. "Earnings Inequality and Earnings Instability of Immigrants in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2008309e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  4. Morissette, Rene & Ostrovsky, Yuri, 2007. "Income Instability of Lone Parents, Singles and Two-Parent Families in Canada, 1984 to 2004," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007297e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.

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