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Cross-National Differences In The Rise In Earnings Inequality: Market And Institutional Factors

  • Peter Gottschalk
  • Mary Joyce

This paper uses data from the Luxembourg Income Study to explore the role of differences in supply shifts in explaining cross-national differences in the rise in earnings inequality. Changes in returns to age and education are estimated for eight countries using a common specification of earnings functions across years and countries. We find that the small overall increase in earnings inequality in many countries reflects large but offsetting changes in returns to skill and changes in inequality within age education cells. Furthermore, these differences in returns to skill can largely be explained by differences in supply shifts. © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technolog

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 80 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 489-502

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:80:y:1998:i:4:p:489-502
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  1. Per-Anders Edin & Bertl Holmlund, 1993. "The Swedish Wage Stucture: The Rise and Fall of Solidarity Wage Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Blank, Rebecca M, 1995. "Changes in Inequality and Unemployment over the 1980s: Comparative Cross-National Responses," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 1-21, February.
  3. Chinhui Juhn, 1994. "Wage Inequality and Industrial Change: Evidence from Five Decades," NBER Working Papers 4684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Borland, J. & Kennedy, S., 1998. "Earnings Inequality in Australia," CEPR Discussion Papers 389, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
  6. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1993. "Earnings Inequality in Germany," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 94-24, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  7. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-08, May.
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  9. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  10. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
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  13. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
  14. Lawrence F. Katz & Ana L. Revenga, 1989. "Changes in the Structure of Wages: The U.S. versus Japan," NBER Working Papers 3021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1994. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," NBER Working Papers 4678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Baldwin, Robert E & Cain, Glen C, 1997. "Shifts in US Relative Wages: The Role of Trade, Technology and Factor Endowments," CEPR Discussion Papers 1596, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Richard B. Freeman & Karen Needels, 1993. "Skill Differentials in Canada in an Era of Rising Labor Market Inequality," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 45-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
  19. C Bean, 1992. "European Unemployment: A Survey," CEP Discussion Papers dp0071, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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