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Canadian Wage Inequality over the Last Two Decades

Author

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  • Burbidge, John B
  • Magee, Lonnie
  • Robb, A Leslie

Abstract

We study the dispersion of wages of full-time full-year workers over two decades controlling for both education and experience. Applying non-parametric statistical methods we find statistically significant and large increases in inequality for males with low levels of education and experience coexist with more modest changes in inequality for older, more experienced workers with a university degree. These relative patterns tend to be similar for females though with a stronger tendency towards inequality in each education-experience category. Given the recent focus in this debate on the issue of polarization, we also show graphs of the actual distributions of wages and analyze these to conclude that the groups experiencing increased dispersion do display what is commonly known as polarization though it would be an exaggeration to claim that the jobs in the middle of the distribution have vanished.

Suggested Citation

  • Burbidge, John B & Magee, Lonnie & Robb, A Leslie, 1997. "Canadian Wage Inequality over the Last Two Decades," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 181-203.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:22:y:1997:i:2:p:181-203
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brozozowski, Matthew & Gervais, Martin & Klein, Paul & Suzuki, Micho, 2009. "Consumption, income, and wealth inequality in Canada," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0904, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    2. Lars Osberg, 2003. "Long Run Trends in Income Inequality in the United States, UK, Sweden, Germany and Canada: A Birth Cohort View," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 121-141, Winter.
    3. J. B. Burbidge & L. Magee & A. Leslie Robb, 2002. "The Education Premium in Canada and the United States," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(2), pages 203-217, June.
    4. Peter Kuhn & A. Leslie Robb, 1998. "Shifting Skill Demand and the Canada-US Unemployment Gap: Evidence from Prime-Age Men," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(s1), pages 170-191, February.
    5. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green, 2000. "Cohort patterns in Canadian earnings: assessing the role of skill premia in inequality trends," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 907-936, November.
    6. A.L Robb & L. Magee & J.B. Burbidge, 2003. "WAGES in CANADA: SCF, SLID, LFS and the Skill Premium," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 386, McMaster University.
    7. Fiona Macphail, 1998. "Increased Earnings Inequality and Macroeconomic Performance: the case of Canada in the 1980s," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 333-359.
    8. Gray, David & Finnie, Ross & Beach, Charles M., 2006. "Sommaire de : L'effet des conditions macroeconomiques sur l'instabilite et l'inegalite a long terme des gains des travailleurs au Canada," Direction des études analytiques : documents de recherche 2006269f, Statistics Canada, Direction des études analytiques.
    9. Haoming Liu, 2003. "A cross-country comparison of the cyclicality of real wages," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(4), pages 923-948, November.
    10. Finnie, Ross & Gray, David, 2002. "Earnings dynamics in Canada: an econometric analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 763-800, December.
    11. Sharpe, Andrew & Zyblock, Myles, 1997. "Macroeconomic performance and income distribution in Canada," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 167-199.
    12. Peter Kuhn (McMaster), "undated". "Labour Market Polarization: Canada in International Perspective," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 02, McMaster University.
    13. Gray, David & Finnie, Ross & Beach, Charles M., 2006. "Summary Of: The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on the Instability and Long-Run Inequality of Workers' Earnings in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006269e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    14. J.B. Burbidge & L. Magee & A.L. Robb, "undated". "Cohort, Year and Age Effects in Canadian Wage Data," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 13, McMaster University.
    15. David Andolfatto & James Redekop, 1998. "Redistribution Policy in a Model with Heterogeneous Time Preference," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 66, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.

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