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The Life-Cycle and the Business-Cycle of Wage Risk: A Cross-Country Comparison

Author

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  • Bayer, Christian

    () (University of Bonn)

  • Juessen, Falko

    () (University of Wuppertal)

Abstract

This paper provides a cross-country comparison of life-cycle and business-cycle fluctuations in the dispersion of household-level wage innovations. We draw our inference from household panel data sets for the US, the UK, and Germany. First, we find that household characteristics explain about 25% of the dispersion in wages within an age group in all three countries. Second, the cross-sectional variance of wages is almost linearly increasing in household age in all three countries, but with increments being smaller in the European data. Third, we find that wage risk is procyclical in Germany while it is countercyclical in the US and acyclical in the UK, pointing towards labor market institutions being pivotal in determining the cyclical properties of labor market risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Bayer, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2009. "The Life-Cycle and the Business-Cycle of Wage Risk: A Cross-Country Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 4402, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4402
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2008. "Two Questions about European Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 1-29, January.
    2. Paul Gomme & Richard Rogerson & Peter Rupert & Randall Wright, 2005. "The Business Cycle and the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 415-592 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-467, June.
    4. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    5. Dickens, Richard, 2000. "The Evolution of Individual Male Earnings in Great Britain: 1975-95," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 27-49, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    8. Richard Blundell & Ben Etheridge, 2010. "Consumption, Income and Earnings Inequality in Britain," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 76-102, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lütticke, Ralph & Bayer, Christian & Pham, Lien & Tjaden, Volker, 2013. "Household Income Risk, Nominal Frictions, and Incomplete Markets," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79868, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Ruediger Bachmann & Christian Bayer, 2009. "Firm-Specific Productivity Risk over the Business Cycle: Facts and Aggregate Implications," 2009 Meeting Papers 869, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Hans Fehr & Manuel Kallweit & Fabian Kindermann, 2013. "Reforming Family Taxation in Germany - Labor Supply vs. Insurance Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 4386, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Christian Bayer & Falko Juessen, 2015. "Happiness and the Persistence of Income Shocks," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 160-187, October.
    5. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2010. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 103-132, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    business cycle; uncertainty fluctuations; heterogeneity; life-cycle risk; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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