IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bca/bocawp/21-20.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Four Decades of Canadian Earnings Inequality and Dynamics Across Workers and Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Audra Bowlus
  • Émilien Gouin-Bonenfant
  • Huju Liu
  • Lance Lochner
  • Youngmin Park

Abstract

This paper studies the evolution of individual earnings inequality and dynamics in Canada from 1983 to 2016 using tax files and administrative records. Linking these individuals to their employers (and rich administrative records on firms) beginning in 2001, it also documents the relationship between the earnings dynamics of workers and the size and growth of their employers. It highlights three main patterns over this period: First, with a few exceptions (sharp increase in top 1% and declining gender gap), Canada experienced relatively modest changes in overall earnings inequality, volatility, and mobility between 1983 and 2016. Second, there is considerable variability in earnings inequality and volatility over the business cycle. Third, the earnings dynamics of individuals are strongly related to the size and employment growth of their employers.

Suggested Citation

  • Audra Bowlus & Émilien Gouin-Bonenfant & Huju Liu & Lance Lochner & Youngmin Park, 2021. "Four Decades of Canadian Earnings Inequality and Dynamics Across Workers and Firms," Staff Working Papers 21-20, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:21-20
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/swp2021-20.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bilal, Adrien & Engbom, Niklas & Mongey, Simon & Violante, Giovanni L., 2019. "Firm and Worker Dynamics in a Frictional Labor Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 14246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Kevin Milligan & Michael Smart, 2015. "Taxation and top incomes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(2), pages 655-681, May.
    3. Fatih Guvenen & Greg Kaplan & Jae Song, 2014. "How Risky Are Recessions for Top Earners?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 148-153, May.
    4. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-240, April.
    5. David A. Green & Benjamin M. Sand, 2015. "Has the Canadian labour market polarized?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(2), pages 612-646, May.
    6. Rene Morissette, 1993. "Canadian Jobs and Firm Size: Do Smaller Firms Pay Less?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(1), pages 159-174, February.
    7. Leo Kaas & Philipp Kircher, 2015. "Efficient Firm Dynamics in a Frictional Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3030-3060, October.
    8. Giuseppe Berlingieri & Sara Calligaris & Chiara Criscuolo, 2018. "The Productivity-Wage Premium: Does Size Still Matter in a Service Economy?," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 328-333, May.
    9. Joachim Hubmer, 2018. "The Job Ladder and its Implications for Earnings Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 172-194, July.
    10. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    11. Michael R. Veall, 2012. "Top income shares in Canada: recent trends and policy implications," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(4), pages 1247-1272, November.
    12. Narayana Kocherlakota & Luigi Pistaferri, 2009. "Asset Pricing Implications of Pareto Optimality with Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 555-590, June.
    13. Melvyn G. Coles & Dale T. Mortensen, 2016. "Equilibrium Labor Turnover, Firm Growth, and Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 347-363, January.
    14. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Insurance within the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1054-1087, October.
    15. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 17(Nov), pages 2-20.
    16. Charles Freedman & Tiff Macklem, 1998. "A Comment on "The Great Canadian Slump"," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 646-665, August.
    17. David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2004. "Unions and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(4), pages 519-562, October.
    18. Milligan, Kevin & Stabile, Mark, 2007. "The integration of child tax credits and welfare: Evidence from the Canadian National Child Benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 305-326, February.
    19. Brad Hershbein & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Do Recessions Accelerate Routine-Biased Technological Change? Evidence from Vacancy Postings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1737-1772, July.
    20. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2014. "The Nature of Countercyclical Income Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 621-660.
    21. 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.
    22. Derek Messacar, 2017. "Big Tax Data and Economic Analysis: Effects of Personal Income Tax Reassessments and Delayed Tax Filing," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 43(3), pages 261-283, September.
    23. Pierre Fortin, 1996. "The Great Canadian Slump," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 761-787, November.
    24. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2015. "Changes in wage inequality in Canada: An interprovincial perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(2), pages 682-713, May.
    25. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1986. "The equity premium and the concentration of aggregate shocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-219, September.
    26. Emilien Gouin-Bonenfant, 2018. "Productivity Dispersion, Between-firm Competition and the Labor Share," 2018 Meeting Papers 1171, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    27. Nicole Fortin & David A. Green & Thomas Lemieux & Kevin Milligan & W. Craig Riddell, 2012. "Canadian Inequality: Recent Developments and Policy Options," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 38(2), pages 121-145, June.
    28. Robert A. Moffitt, 2020. "Reconciling Trends in U.S. Male Earnings Volatility: Results from a Four Data Set Project," NBER Working Papers 27664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-688, August.
    30. Hilary Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & Jessamyn Schaller, 2012. "Who Suffers during Recessions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 27-48, Summer.
    31. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "How Does Job-Protected Maternity Leave Affect Mothers' Employment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 655-691, October.
    32. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2006. "Explaining the distribution of firm growth rates," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 235-256, June.
    33. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    34. Audra J. Bowlus & Jean-Marc Robin, 2012. "An International Comparison Of Lifetime Inequality: How Continental Europe Resembles North America," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1236-1262, December.
    35. Emmanuel Saez & Michael R. Veall, 2005. "The Evolution of High Incomes in Northern America: Lessons from Canadian Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 831-849, June.
    36. Berube, Charles & Morissette, Rene, 1996. "Longitudinal Aspects of Earnings Inequality in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1996094e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    37. Robert A. Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2012. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Male Earnings: Methods and Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 204-236.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Engbom, Niklas & Gonzaga, Gustavo & Moser, Christian & Olivieri, Roberta, 2021. "Earnings Inequality and Dynamics in the Presence of Informality: The Case of Brazil," MPRA Paper 105758, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Charles M. Beach, 2016. "Changing income inequality: A distributional paradigm for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 49(4), pages 1229-1292, November.
    2. Hoffmann, Eran B. & Malacrino, Davide, 2019. "Employment time and the cyclicality of earnings growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 160-171.
    3. Herskovic, Bernard & Kelly, Bryan & Lustig, Hanno & Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2016. "The common factor in idiosyncratic volatility: Quantitative asset pricing implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 249-283.
    4. McKay, Alisdair, 2017. "Time-varying idiosyncratic risk and aggregate consumption dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-14.
    5. Yagan, Danny, 2016. "The Enduring Employment Impact of Your Great Recession Location," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt12d0w9bs, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    6. Lemieux, Thomas & Riddell, W. Craig, 2015. "Top Incomes in Canada: Evidence from the Census," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2015-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 07 Jul 2015.
    7. Bev Dahlby & Kevin Milligan, 2017. "From theory to practice: Canadian economists’ contributions to public finance," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(5), pages 1324-1347, December.
    8. Satoshi Tanaka & Lawrence Warren & David Wiczer, 2020. "Earnings Growth, Job Flows and Churn," Working Papers 20-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Tom Krebs, 2007. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 664-686, June.
    10. Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "How Do Expectations about the Macroeconomy Affect Personal Expectations and Behavior?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 731-748, October.
    11. Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2018. "Employment and Wage Insurance within Firms: Worldwide Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 1298-1340.
    12. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2015. "Changes in wage inequality in Canada: An interprovincial perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(2), pages 682-713, May.
    13. John R. Graham & Hyunseob Kim & Si Li & Jiaping Qiu, 2019. "Employee Costs of Corporate Bankruptcy," NBER Working Papers 25922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Alexis Akira Toda & Kieran James Walsh, 2017. "Fat tails and spurious estimation of consumption‐based asset pricing models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(6), pages 1156-1177, September.
    15. Daniel Harenberg & Alexander Ludwig, 2019. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Aggregate Risk, And The Welfare Effects Of Social Security," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(2), pages 661-692, May.
    16. Wilson, Matthew S., 2020. "Disaggregation and the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-18.
    17. Peter Burton & Shelley Phipps, 2017. "Economic Well-Being of Canadian Children," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 43(4), pages 299-330, December.
    18. Fujita, Shigeru, 2018. "Declining labor turnover and turbulence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 1-19.
    19. Maria Guadalupe, 2007. "Product Market Competition, Returns to Skill, and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 439-474.
    20. R. Jason Faberman & Marianna Kudlyak, 2019. "The Intensity of Job Search and Search Duration," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 327-357, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Econometric and statistical methods; Firm dynamics; Labour markets; Potential output; Productivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:21-20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bocgvca.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bocgvca.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.