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

Listed author(s):
  • Bayer, Christian

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

  • Juessen, Falko

    ()

    (University of Wuppertal)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4402.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Publication status: published in: Economics Letters, 2012, 117 (3), 831-833
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4402
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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, 01.
  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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