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Are Within-Groups `Abilities' Distribution Constant on Time?

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  • Manuel Hidalgo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide & Ivie)

Abstract

The analysis of wage inequality has had a lot of tradition since the early nineties, in particular seeking an explanation for residual wage inequality defined as the inequality which is not explained by observables characteristics. However, some assumptions made in order to delve into the causes of wage inequality evolution are far from realistic, as the one assuming constancy in the distribution of non-observed characteristics within each cohort of workers employed (ability distribution). In this work, this latter hypothesis is relaxed. The main contribution is that this paper explicitly considers and values the change in ability distribution and its effects on total wage inequality. The conclusion is that non considering the changes in ability distribution may overvalued the effects of other possibles causes, as for example changes in prices paid to unobserved skills. I use Spanish data to evaluate this new approximation.

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File URL: http://www.upo.es/serv/bib/wps/econ0915.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09.15.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:09.15

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Keywords: ability distribution; residual wage inequality; education.;

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  1. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1997. "How the Changing Market Structure of U.S. Higher Education Explains College Tuition," NBER Working Papers 6323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Gottschalk, Peter & Moffitt, Robert A, 1994. "Welfare Dependence: Concepts, Measures, and Trends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 38-42, May.
  5. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 1998. "Ability Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," Working Papers 98-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Mario Izquierdo & Aitor Lacuesta, 2006. "Wage inequality in Spain: recent developments," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0615, Banco de Espa�a.
  7. Josep Pijoan-Mas & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2009. "Spain Is Different: Falling Trends Of Inequeality," Working Papers wp2009_0910, CEMFI.
  8. Farber, Henry S & Gibbons, Robert, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-47, November.
  9. Manuel A. Hidalgo, 2008. "Wage Inequality in Spain, 1980-2000," Working Papers 08.08, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  10. Chay, Kenneth Y. & Lee, David S., 2000. "Changes in relative wages in the 1980s Returns to observed and unobserved skills and black-white wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 1-38, November.
  11. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  12. Gould, Eric D & Moav, Omer & Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. " Precautionary Demand for Education, Inequality, and Technological Progress," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 285-315, December.
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