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The great compression of the French wage structure, 1969–2008

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  • Verdugo, Gregory

Abstract

Wage inequality decreased continuously in France from 1969 to 2008. In contrast to the US and the UK, this period was also characterised by a substantial increase in the educational attainment of the labour force. This paper investigates whether differences in the timing of educational expansion over the last forty years can explain the divergent evolution of upper tail wage inequality in France relative to other countries. Using a model with imperfect substitution between experience groups, the estimates suggest that the rapid increase in the supply of educated workers during the 1970s and 1990s produced a substantial decline in the skill premium within cohorts. As a result, between a third and half of the decline in wage inequality at the top of the distribution in France during this period is explained by the increase in the educational attainment of the labour force.

Suggested Citation

  • Verdugo, Gregory, 2014. "The great compression of the French wage structure, 1969–2008," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 131-144.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:28:y:2014:i:c:p:131-144
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2014.04.009
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    Cited by:

    1. James Harrigan & Ariell Reshef & Farid Toubal, 2016. "The March of the Techies: Technology, Trade, and Job Polarization in France, 1994-2007," Working Papers 2016-15, CEPII research center.
    2. Antoine Bozio & Thomas Breda & Malka Guillot, 2016. "Taxes and Technological Determinants of Wage Inequalities: France 1976-2010," Working Papers 2016-07, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    3. Gregory Verdugo & Guilllaume Allègre, 2017. "Labour force participation and job polarization : evidence from Europe during the Great Recession," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2017-16, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    4. Antoine Bozio & Thomas Breda & Malka Guillot, 2016. "Taxes and Technological Determinants of Wage Inequalities: France 1976-2010," Working Papers halshs-01294599, HAL.
    5. Malgouyres, Clément, 2014. "Chinese imports competition’s impact on employment and the wage distribution: evidence from French local labor markets," Economics Working Papers ECO2014/12, European University Institute.
    6. Ortega, Javier & Verdugo, Gregory, 2016. "Moving Up or Down? Immigration and the Selection of Natives across Occupations and Locations," IZA Discussion Papers 10303, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Ortega, Javier & Verdugo, Gregory, 2014. "The impact of immigration on the French labor market: Why so different?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 14-27.
    8. Chantreuil, Frédéric & Lebon, Isabelle, 2015. "Gender contribution to income inequality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 27-30.
    9. Anthony Edo & Farid Toubal, 2015. "Selective Immigration Policies and Wages Inequality," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 160-187, February.
    10. Boustanifar, Hamid & Grant, Everett & Reshef, Ariell, 2016. "Wages and human capital in finance: international evidence, 1970-2005," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 266, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Wage structure; Education; France;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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