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International Differences in Wage Inequality: A New Glance with European Matched Employer-Employee Data

  • Hipólito Simón

Using international harmonized matched employer-employee micro data from the European Structure of Earnings Survey for nine European countries, this article examines the origin of international differences in wage inequality. Wage inequality is highly correlated with the magnitude of inter-firm wage differentials. Workplace- and job-related factors generally have a more significant impact on within-country wage inequality than individual characteristics. European countries differ significantly not only in the extent of wage inequality but also in the relative influence of factors shaping wage inequality. Although cross-country differences in labour force composition play a part in the explanation, differences in the distribution and in labour market prices attached to workplace and job characteristics are the primary factors contributing to international differences in wage inequality. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2008.

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Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 310-346

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:48:y:2010:i:2:p:310-346
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