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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. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1993. "Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing theFacts," NBER Working Papers 4492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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 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.
  9. 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, 07.
  10. Griliches, Zvi & Regev, Haim, 1995. "Firm productivity in Israeli industry 1979-1988," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 175-203, January.
  11. 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.
  12. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. John Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Sebastien Perez-Duarte & Ian Schmutte, 2009. "A Formal Test of Assortative Matching in the Labor Market," Working Papers 09-40, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Understanding Increasing and Decreasing Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 6571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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