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Earnings Instability of Job Stayers and Job Changers

  • Leonardi, Marco

    ()

    (University of Milan)

I use the PSID to decompose the rise in wage inequality into a permanent and a transitory component. I consider separately job stayers and job changers. I find that earnings instability (the variance of the transitory component of earnings) increased much more among job changers than among job stayers. I interpret the evidence in a search and matching model with on-the-job search. The increasing variance of the transitory component of earnings is modeled as a mean-preserving spread of the distribution of productivity shocks. The meanpreserving spread induces on-the-job search on a wider range of productivity values. As a result of increased on-the-job search, the variance of the transitory part of earnings increases among job changers. The direction of the change in the transitory variance across job stayers is ambiguous and depends on their composition between non-seekers and on-the-job seekers who did not find a new job.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 946.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp946
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  1. Den Haan, Wouter & Haefke, Christian & Ramey, Gary, 2001. "Shocks and Institutions in a Job Matching Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 2970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Luigi Pistaferri & Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 2004. "Consumption Inequality, Income Uncertainty and Insurance," 2004 Meeting Papers 215, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 681-722, 08.
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  5. 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.
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  7. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
  8. 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.
  9. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Insurance within the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1054-1087, October.
  10. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2004. "The Cross-Sectional Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 4296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Violante, Giovanni L, 2001. "Technological Acceleration, Skill Transferability and the Rise in Residual Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 2765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Gottschalk, Peter & Moffitt, Robert, 1999. "Changes in Job Instability and Insecurity Using Monthly Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S91-126, October.
  14. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1997. "Consumption, inequality and income uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W97/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  15. Robert A. Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2002. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Earnings in the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C68-C73, March.
  16. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-75, April.
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