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Francs or Ranks? Earnings Mobility in France, 1967-1999

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Listed:
  • Buchinsky, Mosche
  • Fields, Gary S
  • Fougère, Denis
  • Kramarz, Francis

Abstract

This Paper uses a new data set drawn from official earnings records kept by the French national statistical agency, INSEE, and builds a time series on various mobility indices for the first time. Using six mobility concepts, we chart wage mobility trends for the working population and compare mobility rates in various population subgroups differentiated by gender, and education. We then compare mobility trends over time for each population subgroup. Next, we relate the extent of mobility using each of these concepts to measures of macroeconomic conditions including GNP growth, unemployment, inflation, and change in the minimum wage. The results show that the answers to even the most fundamental of mobility questions depend on the mobility concept used. Specifically, we find: over time, income mobility in France has risen for some concepts and fallen for others; comparing genders, women have higher income mobility for some concepts and lower income mobility for others; looking across educational groups, for some mobility concepts it is the best-educated workers who have the highest mobility, while for other concepts, it is the least-educated; in general, the indices are affected by demographic variables, macroeconomic conditions, and changes in employment composition, but these patterns are not uniform across the different concepts; changes in ranks track only imperfectly changes in francs, and the relationships are far from linear. The implication is that before labour economists ‘do a mobility study,’ they need to be very clear about the mobility concept or concepts they wish to study. As our work shows, the choice can and does make a vital difference.

Suggested Citation

  • Buchinsky, Mosche & Fields, Gary S & Fougère, Denis & Kramarz, Francis, 2003. "Francs or Ranks? Earnings Mobility in France, 1967-1999," CEPR Discussion Papers 3937, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3937
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Wage Mobility In The United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 351-368, August.
    2. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
    3. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    4. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    5. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis & Margolis, David N. & Philippon, Thomas, 2000. "The Tail of Two Countries: Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 203, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Donald W. K. Andrews & Moshe Buchinsky, 2000. "A Three-Step Method for Choosing the Number of Bootstrap Repetitions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 23-52, January.
    7. Dardanoni Valentino, 1993. "Measuring Social Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 372-394, December.
    8. Geweke, John & Marshall, Robert C & Zarkin, Gary A, 1986. "Mobility Indices in Continuous Time Markov Chains," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1407-1423, November.
    9. Moulton, Brent R, 1987. "Diagnostics for Group Effects in Regression Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(2), pages 275-282, April.
    10. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 1987. "Profils de carrière d'un échantillon d'ouvriers et d'employés," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 198(1), pages 21-35.
    11. Bigard, A & Guillotin, Y & Lucifora, C, 1998. "Earnings Mobility: An International Comparison of Italy and France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 535-554, December.
    12. Fields, Gary S. & Ok, Efe A., 1996. "The Meaning and Measurement of Income Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 349-377, November.
    13. Shorrocks, Anthony, 1978. "Income inequality and income mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 376-393, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Verdugo, Gregory, 2014. "The great compression of the French wage structure, 1969–2008," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 131-144.
    2. Laetitia Comminges & Arnak Dalalyan, 2012. "Minimax Testing of a Composite null Hypothesis Defined via a Quadratic Functional in the Model of regression," Working Papers 2012-19, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    3. Simon Beck & Thierry Kamionka, 2012. "Who Benefits from Growth ?," Working Papers 2012-18, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    4. Van Kerm, Philippe, 2006. "Comparisons of income mobility profiles," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    5. Lisa M. Dragoset & Gary S. Fields, 2006. "U.S. Earnings Mobility: Comparing Survey-Based and Administrative-Based Estimates," Working Papers 55, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings; France; mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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