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

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  • Dickens, Richard

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dickens, Richard, 1996. "The evolution of individual male earnings in Great Britain 1974-1994," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20647, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20647
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20647/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
    3. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
    4. 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.
    5. Altonji, Joseph G & Segal, Lewis M, 1996. "Small-Sample Bias in GMM Estimation of Covariance Structures," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 353-366, July.
    6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    7. 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.
    8. 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 546-551, May.
    9. Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the U.K," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 635-666.
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    13. 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.
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    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1998. "Consumption Inequality and Income Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 603-640.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Manning & Helen Robinson, 2004. "Something in the way she moves: a fresh look at an old gap," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 169-188, April.
    2. Manning, Alan, 2000. "Movin' on up: Interpreting the Earnings-Experience Profile," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 261-295, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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