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Revisiting the German Wage Structure

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  • Christian Dustmann

    (University College London.)

  • Johannes Ludsteck

    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Nürnberg.)

  • Uta Schönberg

    (University College London and Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Nürnberg.)

Abstract

This paper shows that wage inequality in West Germany has increased over the past three decades, contrary to common perceptions. During the 1980s, the increase was concentrated at the top of the distribution; in the 1990s, it occurred at the bottom end as well. Our findings are consistent with the view that both in Germany and in the United States, technological change is responsible for the widening of the wage distribution at the top. At the bottom of the wage distribution, the increase in inequality is better explained by episodic events, such as supply shocks and changes in labor market institutions. These events happened a decade later in Germany than in the United States. (c) 2009 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 124 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 843-881

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:2:p:843-881

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