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Are middle-paid jobs in OECD countries disappearing? : An overview

  • Kolev, Alexandre
  • Saget, Catherine
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    This paper provides evidence that from 1985 to 2005, two thirds of OECD countries have seen an increase in earnings inequality. In nearly half of these countries, the widening was driven by an increase in inequality at both the top and the bottom of the distribution. In the other half, rising overall inequality was reflecting a relative increase in high earnings only. This paper also reviews the literature and shows that in several OECD countries, a rise in low-paid employment and a process of polarisation in net employment growth have been observed. The factors behind the increase in earnings inequality and job polarization are multiple and include the influences on labour demand and labour supply incentives, as well as institutional factors (minimum wages, the employment relationship, etc).

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    File URL: http://www.ilo.org/public/libdoc/ilo/2010/110B09_77_engl.pdf
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    Paper provided by International Labour Organization in its series ILO Working Papers with number 456740.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: 2010
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Working paper series, International Labour Office.
    Handle: RePEc:ilo:ilowps:456740
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    1. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    3. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Carlo Dell'Aringa & Laura Pagani, 2007. "Collective Bargaining and Wage Dispersion in Europe," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 29-54, 03.
    6. Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2006. "Wage mobility: do institutions make a difference?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 387-404, June.
    7. Orsetta Causa, 2008. "Explaining Differences in Hours Worked among OECD Countries: An empirical analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 596, OECD Publishing.
    8. Areendam Chanda & Carl-Johan Dalgaard, 2005. "Wage Inequality and the Rise of Services," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_016, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    9. Blum, Bernardo S., 2008. "Trade, technology, and the rise of the service sector: The effects on US wage inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 441-458, March.
    10. Fiorio, Carlo V & Saget, Catherine, 2010. "Reducing or aggravating inequality? : Preliminary findings from the 2008 financial crisis," ILO Working Papers 456487, International Labour Organization.
    11. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Winfried Koeniger & Marco Leonardi & Luca Nunziata, 2007. "Labor Market Institutions and Wage Inequality," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(3), pages 340-356, April.
    13. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. David S. Lee, 1999. "WAGE INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 1980s: RISING DISPERSION OR FALLING MINIMUM WAGE?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023, August.
    15. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
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