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Dynamics of Earnings and Hourly Wages in Germany

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  • Michal Myck
  • Richard Ochmann
  • Salmai Qari

Abstract

There is by now a lot of evidence showing a sharp increase in cross-sectional wage and earnings inequality during the 2000s in Germany. Our study is the first to decompose this cross-sectional variance into its permanent and transitory parts for years beyond 2000. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel on fulltime working individuals for years of 1994 to 2006, we do not find unambiguous empirical support for the frequent claims that recent increases in inequality have been driven mainly by permanent disparities. From 1994 on, permanent inequality increases continuously, peaks in 2001 but then declines in subsequent years. Interestingly the decline in the permanent fraction of inequality occurs at the time of most rapid increases in cross-sectional inequality. It seems therefore that it is primarily the temporary and not the permanent component which has driven the strong expansion of cross-sectional inequality during the 2000s in Germany.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 929.

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Length: 27 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp929

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Keywords: Variance decomposition; covariance structure models; earnings inequality; wage dynamics;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Giesecke, Matthias & Bönke, Timm & Lüthen, Holger, 2011. "The Dynamics of Earnings in Germany: Evidence from Social Security Records," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48692, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Aedín Doris & Donal O’Neill & Olive Sweetman, 2013. "Identification of the covariance structure of earnings using the GMM estimator," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 343-372, September.

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