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On polarization and mobility: A look at polarization in the wage-career profile in Italy


  • Ambra Poggi

    () (University of Milan Bicocca and Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Jacques Silber

    (Bar-Ilan University)


This paper attempts to combine the analysis of wage (income) polarization with that of wage (income) mobility. Using the polarization index PG recently proposed by Deutsch et al. (2007) it shows that, when taking the identity of the individuals into account (working with panel data), a distinction can be made between a change over time in polarization that is the consequence of "structural mobility" (change over time in the overall, between and within groups inequality) and a change in polarization that is the sole consequence of "exchange mobility" (changes over time in the ranks of the individuals). This approach is then applied to the 1985-2003 Work Histories Italian Panel (WHIP), an employer-employee linked panel database developed by the Italian Social Security administrative sources. The empirical investigation attempts to improve our understanding of labor market segmentation in Italy, whether the groups are defined on the basis of the individual wages or derived from other criteria such as white versus blue collar workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ambra Poggi & Jacques Silber, 2009. "On polarization and mobility: A look at polarization in the wage-career profile in Italy," Working Papers 138, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-138

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    8. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters,in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Clementi & Francesco Schettino, 2013. "Income polarization in Brazil, 2001-2011: A distributional analysis using PNAD data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 1796-1815.
    2. Jones, Andrew M. & Rice, Nigel & Robone, Silvana & Dias, Pedro Rosa, 2011. "Inequality and polarisation in health systems' responsiveness: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 616-625, July.
    3. repec:exl:29stat:v:17:y:2016:i:2:p:221-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mauro Mussini, 2016. "On Measuring Income Polarization: An Approach Based On Regression Trees," Statistics in Transition new series, Główny Urząd Statystyczny (Polska), vol. 17(2), pages 221-236, June.

    More about this item


    exchange mobility; Italy; labor market segmentation; polarization; structural mobility; wage inequality.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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