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Decomposing the Sources of Earnings Inequality: Assessing the Role of Reallocation

  • Fredrik Andersson
  • Elizabeth E. Davis
  • Matthew L. Freedman
  • Julia I. Lane
  • Brian P. McCall
  • L. Kristin Sandusky

This paper uses matched employer-employee data from the U.S. Census Bureau to investigate the contribution of worker and firm reallocation to changes in wage inequality within and across industries between 1992 and 2003. We find that the entry and exit of firms and the sorting of workers and firms based on underlying worker skills are important sources of changes in earnings distributions over time. Our results suggest that the underlying dynamics driving changes in earnings inequality are complex and are due to factors that cannot be measured in standard cross-sectional data.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 10-32.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:10-32
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  7. Marco Manacorda, 2004. "Can the Scala Mobile Explain the Fall and Rise of Earnings Inequality in Italy? A Semiparametric Analysis, 19771993," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 585-614, July.
  8. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Spletzer, James R, 2000. "The Contribution of Establishment Births and Deaths to Employment Growth," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(1), pages 113-26, January.
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  12. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  13. 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.
  14. John Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane, 2009. "Wage Structure and Labor Mobility in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 81-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," Working Papers 05-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  16. Hirsch, Barry & Schumacher, Edward J., 2003. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," IZA Discussion Papers 783, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Understanding Increasing and Decreasing Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 6571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. John Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Sebastien Perez-Duarte & Ian Schmutte, 2009. "A Formal Test of Assortative Matching in the Labor Market," Working Papers 09-40, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  19. Haltiwanger, John C. & Lane, Julia I. & Spletzer, James R., 2007. "Wages, productivity, and the dynamic interaction of businesses and workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 575-602, June.
  20. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82.
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