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The Great Risk Shift? Income Volatility in an International Perspective

Listed author(s):
  • Claudia M. Buch

Weakening bargaining power of unions and the increasing integration of the world economy may affect the volatility of capital and labor incomes. This paper documents and explains changes in income volatility. Using a theoretical framework which builds distribution risk into a real business cycle model, hypotheses on the determinants of the relative volatility ofcapital and labor are derived. The model is tested using industry-level data. The data cover 11 industrialized countries, 22 manufacturing and services industries, and a maximum of 35 years. The paper has four main findings. First, the unconditional volatility of labor and capital incomes has declined, reflecting the decline in macroeconomic volatility. Second, the idiosyncratic component of income volatility has hardly changed over time. Third, crosssectional heterogeneity in the evolution of relative income volatilities is substantial. If anything, the labor incomes of high- and low-skilled workers have become more volatile in relative terms. Fourth, income volatility is related to variables measuring the bargaining power of workers. Trade openness has no significant impact.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-11/cesifo1_wp2465.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2465.

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Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2465
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  1. Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Explaining The Great Moderation: It Is Not The Shocks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 621-633, 04-05.
  2. Nicole Guertzgen, 2009. "Rent-sharing and Collective Bargaining Coverage: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(2), pages 323-349, 06.
  3. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2006. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 967-1012, 07.
  4. Jean-Pierre Danthine & John B. Donaldson & Paolo Siconolfi, 2005. "Distribution Risk and Equity Returns," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 05.10, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
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  7. Olga Gorbachev, 2011. "Did Household Consumption Become More Volatile?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2248-2270, August.
  8. Paul Bergin & Robert Feenstra, 2006. "Outsourcing and Volatility," Working Papers 628, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. Kose, M. Ayhan & Prasad, Eswar & Terrones, Marco E., 2007. "How Does Financial Globalization Affect Risk Sharing? Patterns and Channels," IZA Discussion Papers 2903, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  13. repec:fth:harver:1533 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Shin, Donggyun & Solon, Gary, 2011. "Trends in men's earnings volatility: What does the Panel Study of Income Dynamics show?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 973-982, August.
  15. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  16. Shane T. Jensen & Stephen H. Shore, 2008. "Changes in the Distribution of Income Volatility," Papers 0808.1090, arXiv.org.
  17. Danthine, J.P. & Donaldson, J.B., 1990. "Risk Sharing, the Minimum wage, and the Business Cycle," Papers 9007, Dijon - Institut des Mathematiques Economiques.
  18. Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Explaining The Great Moderation: It Is Not The Shocks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 621-633, 04-05.
  19. J. Bradford Jensen & Lori G. Kletzer, 2010. "Measuring Tradable Services and the Task Content of Offshorable Services Jobs," NBER Chapters,in: Labor in the New Economy, pages 309-335 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Kose, M. Ayhan & Prasad, Eswar S. & Terrones, Marco E., 2009. "Does financial globalization promote risk sharing?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 258-270, July.
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