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Rising Wage Inequality Within Firms: Evidence from Japanese health insurance society data

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  • SAITO Yukiko
  • KOUNO Toshiaki

Abstract

Using a novel dataset compiled from Japanese health insurance societies covering about 1,500 firms and 15 million employees in total, we examine wage inequality within and between firms. Employing the mean log deviation approach to decompose wage inequality into within-firm and between-firm inequality, we find that it increased among male employees during the period we examined (FY2003-2007). Moreover, even after controlling for changes in the compositional structure of firms' employees, an increase in wage inequality within firms can be observed, greatly contributing to the increase in overall wage inequality, which likely reflects the growing prevalence of performance-based wage systems.

Suggested Citation

  • SAITO Yukiko & KOUNO Toshiaki, 2012. "Rising Wage Inequality Within Firms: Evidence from Japanese health insurance society data," Discussion papers 12039, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:12039
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oskar Nordström Skans & Per-Anders Edin & Bertil Holmlund, 2009. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within Plants: Sweden 1985-2000," NBER Chapters,in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 217-260 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Thomas Lemieux & W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 2009. "Performance Pay and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-49.
    3. Ryo Kambayashi & Daiji Kawaguchi & Izumi Yokoyama, 2008. "Wage distribution in Japan, 1989-2003," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1329-1350, November.
    4. Barlevy, Gadi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 2006. "Earnings inequality and the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 55-89, January.
    5. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Race between Education and Technology: The Evolution of U.S. Educational Wage Differentials, 1890 to 2005," NBER Working Papers 12984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "Working Under Different Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free94-1.
    7. Ohtake, F & Saito, M, 1997. "Population Aging and Consumption Inequality," ISER Discussion Paper 0440, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    8. Fumio OHTAKE, 2008. "Inequality in Japan," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 3(1), pages 87-109.
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