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

  • Haisken-DeNew, John P.

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Schmidt, Christoph M.

    ()

    (RWI)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 98.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Dec 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp98
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  1. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christoph Schmidt & Klaus Zimmerman, 1990. "Work Characteristics, Firm Size and Wages," Working Papers 644, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. 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.).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  7. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
  8. Daniel Feenberg, 1993. "CPS labor extracts available," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(9).
  9. 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 507-34, November.
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