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Wage inequality in the Netherlands: Evidence, trends and explanations

Author

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  • Stefan Groot

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Henri de Groot

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

Using detailed micro data on the entire wage distribution in the Netherlands, this paper examines trends in Dutch (real pre-tax) wage inequality between 2000 and 2008. For many years, the Netherlands has been considered an exception to the general trend of growing wage inequality that most OECD countries have experienced since the 1980s. This OECD trend is generally explained by increasing relative demand for skilled labour due to skill biased technological progress and – to a lesser extent – by globalization. Using detailed micro data on the entire wage distribution in the Netherlands, this paper examines trends in Dutch (real pre-tax) wage inequality between 2000 and 2008. We show that the aggregate flatness of the distribution hides dynamics between different groups and regions. We find that inequality, after correcting for observed worker characteristics, decreased somewhat at the lower half of the wage distribution, while increasing slightly at most of the upper half (both before and after correcting for differences in human capital). Residual wage inequality is high and increasing in most larger cities, which is in line with recent evidence on the increasing importance of agglomeration externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Groot & Henri de Groot, 2011. "Wage inequality in the Netherlands: Evidence, trends and explanations," CPB Discussion Paper 186, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:186
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stefan P.T. Groot & Henri L.F. Groot & Martijn J. Smit, 2014. "Regional Wage Differences In The Netherlands: Micro Evidence On Agglomeration Externalities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 503-523, June.
    2. Rob Euwals & Marike Knoef & Daniel Vuuren, 2011. "The trend in female labour force participation: what can be expected for the future?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 729-753, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wiemer Salverda & Christina Haas & Marloes Graaf-zijl & Bram Lancee & Natascha Notten & Tahnee Ooms, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the Netherlands," GINI Country Reports netherlands, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    2. Semih Akcomak & Henri de Groot & Stefan Groot, 2013. "The impact of trade, offshoring and multinationals on job loss and job finding," CPB Discussion Paper 252, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. van Sonsbeek, Jan-Maarten & Alblas, Ridwan, 2012. "Disability benefit microsimulation models in the Netherlands," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 700-715.
    4. Murillo Huertas, Inés P. & Ramos, Raul & Simón, Hipólito, 2017. "Revisiting Interregional Wage Differentials: New Evidence from Spain with Matched Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 11122, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Mathijs Gerritsen & Jens Høj, 2013. "The Dutch Labour Market: Preparing for the Future," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1012, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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