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The life-cycle and the business-cycle of wage risk — Cross-country comparisons

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  • Bayer, Christian
  • Juessen, Falko

Abstract

We provide evidence on life-cycle and business-cycle fluctuations in the dispersion of household-level wage innovations, comparing the US, the UK, and Germany. First, we find that household characteristics explain about 25% of the dispersion in wages within an age group in all three countries. Second, the cross-sectional variance of wages is almost linearly increasing in household age in all three countries, but with increments being smaller in the European data. Third, wage risk is procyclical in Germany while it is countercyclical in the US and acyclical in the UK.

Suggested Citation

  • Bayer, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2012. "The life-cycle and the business-cycle of wage risk — Cross-country comparisons," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 831-833.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:3:p:831-833
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    2. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2010. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 103-132, January.
    3. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
    4. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    5. Jon Cohen & Michelle Alexopoulos, 2009. "Uncertain Times, Uncertain Measures," 2009 Meeting Papers 1211, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Spyridon Lazarakis & James Malley & Konstantinos Angelopoulos, 2017. "Asymmetries in Earnings, Employment and Wage Risk in Great Britain," 2017 Meeting Papers 1314, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Fehr, Hans & Kallweit, Manuel & Kindermann, Fabian, 2017. "Families and social security," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 30-56.
    3. Christian Bayer & Falko Juessen, 2015. "Happiness and the Persistence of Income Shocks," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 160-187, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage risk; Life cycle; Uncertainty fluctuations; Heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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