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Wage Dispersion Between and Within U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-1986

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  • Steve J. Davis
  • John Haltiwanger

Abstract

This paper exploits a rich and largely untapped source of information on the wages and other characteristics of individual manufacturing plants to cast new light on recent changes in the United States wage structure. Our primary data source, the Longitudinal Research Datafile (LRD) , contains observations on more than 300,000 manufacturing plants during Census years (1963, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982) and 50,000-70,000 plants during intercensus years since 1972. We use the information in the LRD to investigate changes in the plant-wage structure over the past three decades. We also combine plant-level wage observations in the LRD with wage observations on individual workers in the Current Population Survey (CPS) to estimate the between-plant and within-plant components of overall wage dispersion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3722.

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Date of creation: May 1991
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Publication status: published as Martin Baily and Clifford Winston, eds., Brookings papers on Economic Activity, Microeconomics 1991, pp.115-200, September 1991.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3722

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  1. Borjas, G.J. & Freeman, R.B. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "On The Labor Market Effects Of Immigration And Trade," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1556, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  3. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1979. "New estimates of private sector unionism in the United States," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 32(2), pages 143-174, January.
  4. Erica L. Groshen, 1988. "Sources of wage dispersion: the contribution of interemployer differentials within industry," Working Paper 8802, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  5. Lawrence F. Katz & Ana L. Revenga, 1989. "Changes in the Structure of Wages: The U.S. versus Japan," NBER Working Papers 3021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lillard, Lee & Smith, James P & Welch, Finis, 1986. "What Do We Really Know about Wages? The Importance of Nonreporting and Census Imputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 489-506, June.
  7. Richard B. Freeman, 1980. "Unionism and the dispersion of wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(1), pages 3-23, October.
  8. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J., 1990. "Wages And The Risk Of Plant Closing," Papers 6-90-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1987. "The theory of equalizing differences," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 641-692 Elsevier.
  10. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1990. "The Internationalization of the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  12. Lambson, V.E., 1989. "Industry Evolution With Sunk Costs And Uncertian Market Conditions," Working papers 8904, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  13. Duncan, Greg J & Hill, Daniel H, 1985. "An Investigation of the Extent and Consequences of Measurement Error in Labor-Economic Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 508-32, October.
  14. Freeman, Richard B, 1988. "Contraction and Expansion: The Divergence of Private Sector and Public Sector Unionism in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 63-88, Spring.
  15. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  16. John Bound & Charles Brown & Greg J. Duncan & Willard L Rodgers, 1989. "Measurement Error In Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Surveys: Results From Two Validation Studies," NBER Working Papers 2884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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