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Industry Wage Differentials Revisited: A Longitudinal Comparison of Germany and USA (1984-1996)

Author

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  • Haisken-DeNew, John P.

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Schmidt, Christoph M.

    () (RWI)

Abstract

In this paper, the inter-industry wage structure in West Germany and USA is compared using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), the German Mikrozensus (MZ), the American Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the American Current Population Survey (CPS) from 1984 to 1996. Using a sample of prime age full-time employed males from the respective datasets, it is shown that the structure of wages has remained remarkably stable over this time period, and that the German structure resembles the American structure strongly. Cross-sectional and panel results are provided for both countries. Controlling for unobserved heterogeneity in the random effects panel estimations reduces the industry wage dispersion by about half. Thus, although the MZ and the CPS provide very large sample sizes, panel data sets (although typically smaller in sample size) are still very important in getting at the essence of the industry wage structure and the absolute level of industry wage dispersion. In calculating inter-industry wage differentials as deviations from a hypothetical employment-share weighted mean, we use the methodology as described in Haisken-DeNew and Schmidt (1997) of calculating exact differentials and their respective standard errors.

Suggested Citation

  • Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 1999. "Industry Wage Differentials Revisited: A Longitudinal Comparison of Germany and USA (1984-1996)," IZA Discussion Papers 98, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp98
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kevin M. Murphy & Finis Welch, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326.
    2. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2000. "Interindustry and Interregion Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 516-521, August.
    3. Schmidt, Christoph M & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1991. "Work Characteristics, Firm Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 705-710, November.
    4. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-293, March.
    5. Jean Helwege & Joachim Wagner, 1991. "More on the international similarity of interindustry wage differentials: evidence from the Federal Republic of Germany and the U.S," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 167, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Gittleman, Maury & Wolff, Edward N, 1993. "International Comparisons of Inter-industry Wage Differentials," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(3), pages 295-312, September.
    7. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Kahn, Lawrence M, 1998. "Collective Bargaining and the Interindustry Wage Structure: International Evidence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 507-534, November.
    9. Daniel Feenberg, 1993. "CPS labor extracts available," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(9).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nannan Lundin & Lihong Yun, 2009. "International Trade and Inter-Industry Wage Structure in Swedish Manufacturing: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 87-102, February.
    2. Wapler, Rüdiger, 2001. "Unions, efficiency wages, and unemployment," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 210, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
    3. Camille Logeay & Sabine Stephan & Rudolf Zwiener, 2011. "Driving forces behind the sectoral wage costs differentials in Europe," IMK Working Paper 10-2011, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    4. Zhao Chen & Ming Lu & Guanghua Wan, 2010. "Inter-Industry Wage Differentials: An Increasingly Important Contributor to Urban China Income Inequality," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-130, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Cathy Yang Liu & Xi Huang, 2016. "The Rise of Urban Entrepreneurs in China: Capital Endowments and Entry Dynamics," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 32-52, March.
    6. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2000. "Discretionary Measures of Active Labor Market Policy: The German Employment Promotion Reform in Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 182, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Karin Mayr, 2008. "Optimal quota for sector-specific immigration," Economics working papers 2008-07, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    8. Bonin, Holger & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "The Post-Unification German Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 185, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Zhao Chen & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2009. "Social Networks and Labor Market Entry Barriers: Understanding Inter-industrial Wage Differentials in Urban China," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-084, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inter-Industry Wage Differentials; West Germany; USA; dummy variables; restricted least squares; weighted standard deviation;

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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