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On Polarization And Mobility: A Look At Polarization In The Wage-Career Profile In Italy


  • Ambra Poggi
  • Jacques Silber


This paper attempts to combine the analysis of wage polarization with that of wage mobility. Using the polarization index P G recently proposed by Deutsch et al . (2007 ) it shows that, when taking the identity of the individuals into account, a distinction can be made between a change over time in polarization that is the consequence of "structural mobility" (change over time in the overall, between- and within-groups inequality) and a change in polarization that is the sole consequence of "exchange mobility" (changes over time in the ranks of the individuals). This approach is then applied to the 1985-2003 Work Histories Italian Panel (WHIP), an employer-employee linked panel database. The empirical investigation attempts to improve our understanding of labor market segmentation in Italy, whether the groups are defined on the basis of the individual wages or derived from other criteria such as white- versus blue-collar workers. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation International Association for Research in Income and Wealth 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Ambra Poggi & Jacques Silber, 2010. "On Polarization And Mobility: A Look At Polarization In The Wage-Career Profile In Italy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(1), pages 123-140, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:56:y:2010:i:1:p:123-140

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Claudio Zoli, 2012. "Characterizing Inequality Equivalence Criteria," Working Papers 32/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    2. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
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    5. Claudio Zoli, "undated". "A Surplus Sharing Approach to the Measurement of Inequality," Discussion Papers 98/25, Department of Economics, University of York.
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    7. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    8. Tateo Yoshida, 2005. "Social welfare rankings of income distributions A new parametric concept of intermediate inequality," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(3), pages 557-574, June.
    9. repec:jid:journl:y:2006:v:15:i:i:p:42-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-358, May.
    11. Jenkins, Stephen P., 1995. "Did the middle class shrink during the 1980s? UK evidence from kernel density estimates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 407-413, October.
    12. Buhong Zheng, 2007. "Unit-Consistent Poverty Indices," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 113-142, April.
    13. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
    14. Wolfson, Michael C, 1997. "Divergent Inequalities: Theory and Empirical Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 401-421, December.
    15. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
    16. Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2010. "Polarization Orderings Of Income Distributions," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(1), pages 47-64, March.
    17. Joe C. Davis & John H. Huston, 1992. "The Shrinking Middle-Income Class: A Multivariate Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 277-285, Summer.
    18. Buhong Zheng, 2007. "Unit-Consistent Decomposable Inequality Measures," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 97-111, February.
    19. Ma Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Marta Urrutia, 2006. "An Alternative Formulation of the Esteban-Gradín-Ray Extended Measure of Polarization," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 15(3-4), pages 42-54, December.
    20. Pfingsten, Andreas, 1986. "Distributionally-neutral tax changes for different inequality concepts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 385-393, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Clementi & Francesco Schettino, 2013. "Income polarization in Brazil, 2001-2011: A distributional analysis using PNAD data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 1796-1815.
    2. Jones, Andrew M. & Rice, Nigel & Robone, Silvana & Dias, Pedro Rosa, 2011. "Inequality and polarisation in health systems' responsiveness: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 616-625, July.
    3. repec:exl:29stat:v:17:y:2016:i:2:p:221-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mauro Mussini, 2016. "On Measuring Income Polarization: An Approach Based On Regression Trees," Statistics in Transition new series, Główny Urząd Statystyczny (Polska), vol. 17(2), pages 221-236, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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