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The evolution of individual male earnings in Great Britain 1974-1994

In this paper I study the changing dynamic structure of male wages in Great Britain using the New Earnings Survey Panel form 1974-1994. Computing the covariance structure of individual wages by cohort I find evidence of a substantial permanent component of earnings that increases over the life cycle and a highly persistent, serially correlated transitory component. In addition, the estimated variances of both the permanent and transitory components have risen over this period, each explaining about half the rise in inequality. These results imply that the observed cross sectional rise in inequality is reflective of largely permanent differences between individuals that have grown over the last decade or so.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 20647.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Nov 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20647
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  1. Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen & Meghir, Costas, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the U.K," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 635-66, October.
  2. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-45, March.
  3. John Schmitt, 1995. "The Changing Structure of Male Earnings in Britain, 1974-1988," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 177-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1998. "Consumption Inequality and Income Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 603-640.
  5. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1995. "Income, expenditure and the living standards of UK households," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 40-54, August.
  6. 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 1333-81, September.
  7. Stewart, Mark B & Swaffield, Joanna K, 1999. "Low Pay Dynamics and Transition Probabilities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(261), pages 23-42, February.
  8. Creedy, J & Hart, P E, 1979. "Age and the Distribution of Earnings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(354), pages 280-93, June.
  9. Lorraine Dearden & Stephen Machin & Howard Reed, 1995. "Intergenerational mobility in Britain," IFS Working Papers W95/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "Wage Mobility in the United States," NBER Working Papers 5455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Joseph G. Altonji & Lewis M. Segal, 1994. "Small sample bias in GMM estimation of covariance structures," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  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. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  15. Cutler, David M & Katz, Lawrence F, 1992. "Rising Inequality? Changes in the Distribution of Income and Consumption in the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 546-51, May.
  16. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
  17. Hart, P E, 1976. "The Dynamics of Earnings, 1963-1973," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 551-65, September.
  18. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
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