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Comparative advantage and risk premia in labor markets

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  • German Cubas
  • Pedro Silos

Abstract

Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we document a significant and positive association between earnings risk (both permanent and transitory) and the level of earnings across 21 industries. We propose an equilibrium framework to analyze the interplay between earnings volatility and the distribution of skills across workers in determining a relationship between earnings and risk. We use the model to decompose how much of the empirical correlation represents compensation for risk and how much represents selection. The positive association between permanent risk and earnings is compensation for risk, but selection is responsible for the observed relationship between temporary risk and the level of earnings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2012-15.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2012-15

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  1. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  2. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "An empirical investigation of labor income processes," IFS Working Papers W07/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2007. "Insurance and Opportunities: A Welfare Analysis of Labor Market Risk," NBER Working Papers 13673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Luigi Pistaferri & Hamish Low & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Wage risk and employment risk over the life-cycle," 2004 Meeting Papers 82, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Mobility and Wage Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 731-759.
  6. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  8. Bewley, Truman, 1977. "The permanent income hypothesis: A theoretical formulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 252-292, December.
  9. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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