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Earnings Instability and Earnings Inequality in Urban China: 1989–2006

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  • Zhao, Zhong

    ()
    (Renmin University of China)

Abstract

This paper investigates the evolution of earnings inequality in urban China from 1989 to 2006. After decomposing the variance of log of earnings into transitory and permanent two parts, we find that both components are important contributors to the total variance of earnings. We also find that the share of the transitory part has been decreasing from early 1990 to 2004; however, this decreasing trend is reversed from 2004 to 2006. Compared female to male, though these two populations share similar trends in the changes of transitory and permanent components, changes are more pronounced for female than for male. Our results suggest that the time-invariant part and time related part in permanent earnings are negatively correlated. This implies converge of earnings profile in long run and also implies that there is more mobility within the distribution of long-term earnings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3270.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3270

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Keywords: earnings inequality; covariance structure of earnings; China;

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  1. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & John Giles, 2003. "The Evolution of Income Inequality in Rural China," Working Papers benjamin-04-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2004. "The Dynamics and Inequality of Italian Men’s Earnings: Long-term Changes or Transitory Fluctuations?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  3. Duncan Thomas & Elizabeth Frankenberg & James P. Smith, 2001. "Lost but Not Forgotten: Attrition and Follow-up in the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 556-592.
  4. John Whalley & Ximing Yue, 2009. "Rural Income Volatility and Inequality in China," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 55(3-4), pages 648-668.
  5. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
  6. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & Jia-Zhueng Fan, 2003. "Ceaseless Toil? Health and Labor Supply of the Elderly in Rural China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-579, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Joseph G. Altonji & Lewis M. Segal, 1994. "Small Sample Bias in GMM Estimation of Covariance Structures," NBER Technical Working Papers 0156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert A. Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2002. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Earnings in the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C68-C73, March.
  9. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
  10. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2002. "The dynamics and inequality of Italian male earnings: permanent changes or transitory fluctuations?," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C2-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  11. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-45, March.
  12. Khor, Niny & Pencavel, John, 2006. "Income Mobility of Individuals in China and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 2003, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  14. Akee, Randall K. Q., 2007. "Errors in Self-Reported Earnings: The Role of Previous Earnings Volatility," IZA Discussion Papers 3263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
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