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Decomposing the Sources of Earnings Inequality: Assessing the Role of Reallocation

  • Andersson, Fredrik

    ()

    (Lund University)

  • Davis, Elizabeth E.

    ()

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Freedman, Matthew L.

    ()

    (Cornell University)

  • Lane, Julia

    ()

    (New York University)

  • McCall, Brian P.

    ()

    (University of Michigan)

  • Sandusky, L. Kristin

    ()

    (U.S. Census Bureau)

This paper exploits longitudinal employer-employee matched data from the U.S. Census Bureau to investigate the contribution of worker and firm reallocation to changes in earnings inequality within and across industries between 1992 and 2003. We find that factors that cannot be measured using standard cross-sectional data, including the entry and exit of firms and the sorting of workers across firms, are important sources of changes in earnings distributions over time. Our results also suggest that the dynamics driving changes in earnings inequality are heterogeneous across industries.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6182.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6182
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  1. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
  2. Haltiwanger, John C. & Lane, Julia I. & Spletzer, James R., 2007. "Wages, productivity, and the dynamic interaction of businesses and workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 575-602, June.
  3. David S. Lee, 1999. "Wage Inequality in the United States During the 1980s: Rising Dispersion or Falling Minimum Wage?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023.
  4. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 2004. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 689-722, July.
  5. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Sébastien Pérez-Duarte & Ian Schmutte, 2009. "A Formal Test of Assortative Matching in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 15546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  7. Spletzer, James R, 2000. "The Contribution of Establishment Births and Deaths to Employment Growth," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(1), pages 113-26, January.
  8. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-23, CIRANO.
  9. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," NBER Working Papers 11627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John & Schuh, Scott, 1996. "Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing the Facts," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 297-315, August.
  11. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
  12. Nicole Fortin & Thomas Lemieux & Sergio Firpo, 2010. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," NBER Working Papers 16045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2000. "Understanding Increasing and Decreasing Wage Inequality," NBER Chapters, in: The Impact of International Trade on Wages, pages 227-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  15. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82.
  16. John Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane, 2009. "Wage Structure and Labor Mobility in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 81-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
  18. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  19. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Kevin L. McKinney, 2002. "The Measurement of Human Capital in the U.S. Economy," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2003.
  20. Katharine G. Abraham & James R. Spletzer & Michael Harper, 2010. "Labor in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra08-1, October.
  21. Marco Manacorda, 2004. "Can the Scala Mobile Explain the Fall and Rise of Earnings Inequality in Italy? A Semiparametric Analysis, 19771993," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 585-614, July.
  22. Griliches, Zvi & Regev, Haim, 1995. "Firm productivity in Israeli industry 1979-1988," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 175-203, January.
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