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Revisiting wage, earnings, and hours profiles

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  • Rupert, Peter
  • Zanella, Giulio

Abstract

We document empirical life cycle profiles of wages, earnings, and hours of work for pay from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, following the same workers for up to four decades along the intensive margin of labor supply. For six of the eight cohorts we analyze the wage profile does not decline with age, while the earnings profile always does. The discrepancy is explained by a sharp drop of the hours profile beginning shortly after age 50, when many workers start a smooth transition into retirement by working progressively fewer hours. This pattern is not an artifact of staggered abrupt retirement, and is robust to attrition- and selection correction (i.e., to taking into account that the composition of our sample, for a given cohort, changes over time). We explore the nontrivial restrictions on dynamic models of the aggregate economy that this evidence suggests, and we provide numerical profiles that can be readily used in quantitative macroeconomic analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Rupert, Peter & Zanella, Giulio, 2012. "Revisiting wage, earnings, and hours profiles," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt61f2f1hv, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt61f2f1hv
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social and Behavioral Sciences; life cycle; wage profile; labor supply; intensive margin human capital; preretirement;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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