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Accounting for changes in the Spanish wage distribution: the role of employment Composition effects

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Author Info

  • Raquel Carrasco

    (Universidad Carlos III)

  • Juan F. Jimeno

    ()
    (Banco de España)

  • A. Carolina Ortega

    (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán)

Abstract

Despite a rapid decrease in unemployment and strong GDP and employment growth, real wages barely increased in Spain over the period 1995-2006. An explanation of this lack of growth may rely on employment composition effects derived from structural changes, such as the rise in the weights of employment in the construction and services sectors, the increase in female employment participation, and the arrival of large immigration inflows. Using data from three waves of the Structure of Earnings Survey, we break down observed wage changes into those due to varying worker and job characteristics and variations of the returns to those characteristics. Quantile regressions are used to estimate wage equations at different percentiles and to construct the counterfactual wage distributions that would have been observed had individual and job characteristics remain constant over time. Our main finding is that the lack of growth of Spanish real wages over the period 1995-2006 is mainly due to the decrease of returns to characteristics, specially education and labour market experience, which is more noticeable at the upper deciles of the wage distribution, and not to changes in employment composition, which when taken over a wide set of worker and job characteristics, had positive effects on wages.

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File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/11/Fich/dt1120e.pdf
File Function: First version, September 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Banco de Espa�a in its series Banco de Espa�a Working Papers with number 1120.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:1120

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Keywords: keyword; Wage structure; quantile regressions; composition effects;

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  1. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 152-197, 02.
  2. Javier Andrés & Óscar Arce & Carlos Thomas, 2010. "Banking competition, collateral constraints and optimal monetary policy," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1001, Banco de Espa�a.
  3. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2007. "Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 757-773, October.
  4. Hipólito Simón & Esteban Sanromá & Raúl Ramos, 2008. "Labour segregation and immigrant and native-born wage distributions in Spain: an analysis using matched employer–employee data," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 135-168, June.
  5. Galo Nuño & Pedro Tedde & Alessio Moro, 2011. "Money dynamics with multiple banks of issue: evidence from Spain 1856-1874," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1119, Banco de Espa�a.
  6. Raquel Carrasco & Juan Jimeno & A. Ortega, 2008. "The effect of immigration on the labor market performance of native-born workers: some evidence for Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 627-648, July.
  7. Javier Gardeazabal & Arantza Ugidos, 2005. "Gender wage discrimination at quantiles," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 165-179, 07.
  8. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2006. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 510, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  9. Izquierdo, Mario & Lacuesta, Aitor, 2007. "Wage inequality in Spain: recent developments," Working Paper Series 0781, European Central Bank.
  10. Rebekka Christopoulou & Juan F. Jimeno & Ana Lamo, 2010. "Changes in the wage structure in EU countries," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1017, Banco de Espa�a.
  11. Adsera, Alicia & Chiswick, Barry R., 2004. "Are There Gender and Country of Origin Differences in Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes across European Destinations?," IZA Discussion Papers 1432, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Pijoan-Mas, Josep & Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia, 2009. "Spain is Different: Falling Trends of Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 7489, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  16. Florentino Felgueroso & Manuel Hidalgo & SergiJiménez Martín, 2010. "Explaining the fall of the skill wage premium in Spain," Working Papers 2010-19, FEDEA.
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Cited by:
  1. Bonhomme, Stephane & Hospido, Laura, 2012. "The Cycle of Earnings Inequality: Evidence from Spanish Social Security Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6669, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ada Ferrer-i-carbonell & X. Ramos & M. Oviedo, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Spain," GINI Country Reports spain, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  3. Anghel, Brindusa & de la Rica, Sara & Lacuesta, Aitor, 2013. "Employment Polarization in Spain along the Cycle 1997-2012," IZA Discussion Papers 7816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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