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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. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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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  6. Christian Haefke, 2001. "Shocks and institutions in a job matching model," Economics Working Papers 568, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2001.
  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:297-338 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1997. "Consumption, inequality and income uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W97/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. 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.
  10. Luigi Pistaferri & Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 2004. "Consumption Inequality, Income Uncertainty and Insurance," 2004 Meeting Papers 215, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Jaeger, David A. & Stevens, Ann Huff, 1999. "Is Job Stability in the United States Falling?," IZA Discussion Papers 35, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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