IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Earnings of Men and Women Working in the Private Sector: Enriched Data for Pensions and Tax-Benefit Modeling


  • Anna Christina D'Addio


  • Herwig Immervoll



The OECD’s “Average-Wage” (AW) concept is commonly used as a benchmark for tax-benefit and pension modeling. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether it is possible to use richer sets of earnings data in order to customize these modeling exercises to the situation of different groups of workers, such as high or low-earning men or women. We first take stock of available sources of earnings distribution data and provide a careful assessment of measurement and definitional differences relative to the AW. In a second step, information on the shape of earnings distributions in OECD countries is used to derive synthetic distributions around the AW, distinguishing between the earnings of men and women. We argue that this pragmatic approach yields data that allow extending the scope of tax-benefit and pensions modelling. Moreover, it does so in a way that is consistent with past modeling exercises that relied on the AW. We highlight data quality issues and discuss the potential limitations of the imputed AW-consistent earnings distributions. Le concept de salaire moyen de l’OCDE (SM) est couramment utilisé comme référence pour la modélisation des impôs/prestations et des retraites. Le but de ce document est d'examiner s’il est possible d’utiliser de plus grands ensembles de données sur les salaires afin d’adapter ces exercices de modélisation à la situation de différents groupes d’actifs, tels que les hommes et les femmes ayant des revenus élevés ou bas. Dans un premier temps, on utilise les sources disponibles sur la répartition des revenus et on fournit une évaluation précise des différences de mesure et de définition concernant le salaire moyen, en faisant une distinction entre le revenu des hommes et celui des femmes. Selon nous, cette approche pragmatique permet d’obtenir des données qui dépassent le but fixé par la modélisation des impôts/prestation et des retraites. De plus, elle le fait en compatibilité avec les exercices de modélisation précédents qui se fondaient sur le SM. Nous mettons en évidence la question de la qualité des données et discutons des possibles limites de la répartition des revenus imputées sur les salaire moyens.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Christina D'Addio & Herwig Immervoll, 2010. "Earnings of Men and Women Working in the Private Sector: Enriched Data for Pensions and Tax-Benefit Modeling," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 108, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:108-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rafael Lalive & Jan Van Ours & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1009-1038.
    2. Stéphane Carcillo & David Grubb, 2006. "From Inactivity to Work: The Role of Active Labour Market Policies," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 36, OECD Publishing.
    3. Daniela Kalužná, 2009. "Main Features of the Public Employment Service in Poland," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 80, OECD Publishing.
    4. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
    5. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2008. "The Dynamics of Social Assistance Receipt: Measurement and Modelling Issues, with an Application to Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3765, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Peter Tergeist & David Grubb, 2006. "Activation Strategies and the Performance of Employment Services in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 42, OECD Publishing.
    7. Jan Boone & Jan Ours, 2012. "Why is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(4), pages 413-438, December.
    8. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
    9. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "Welfare reform in European countries: a microsimulation analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 1-44, January.
    10. Midgley, James & Stewart, Kitty & Piachaud, David & Glennerster, Howard, 2008. "Welfare reform in the United States: implications for British social policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6192, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Virginia Hernanz & Franck Malherbet & Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Take-Up of Welfare Benefits in OECD Countries: A Review of the Evidence," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 17, OECD Publishing.
    12. Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Do Labour Market Programmes Speed up the Return to Work?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(5), pages 541-568, October.
    13. Rebecca M. Blank, 2003. "U.S. Welfare Reform: What's Relevant for Europe?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(1), pages 49-74.
    14. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
    15. Immervoll, Herwig & Pearson, Mark, 2009. "A Good Time for Making Work Pay? Taking Stock of In-Work Benefits and Related Measures across the OECD," IZA Policy Papers 3, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
    17. Hohmeyer, Katrin & Wolff, Joachim, 2007. "A fistful of Euros: Does One-Euro-Job participation lead means-tested benefit recipients into regular jobs and out of unemployment benefit II receipt?," IAB Discussion Paper 200732, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    18. Andrew Dyke & Carolyn J. Heinrich & Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Kyung-Seong Jeon, 2006. "The Effects of Welfare-to-Work Program Activities on Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 567-608, July.
    19. Daniela Kalužná, 2008. "Main Features of the Public Employment Service in the Slovak Republic," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 72, OECD Publishing.
    20. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    21. Daniela Kalužná, 2008. "Main Features of the Public Employment Service in the Czech Republic," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 74, OECD Publishing.
    22. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
    23. David Card & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2001. "The Limits to Wage Growth: Measuring the Growth Rate of Wages For Recent Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 8444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Bolvig, Iben & Jensen, Peter & Rosholm, Michael, 2001. "Effekter af aktiveringsindsatsen i Århus Kommune," CLS Working Papers 01-99, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
    25. Bolvig, Iben & Jensen, Peter & Rosholm, Michael, 2003. "The Employment Effects of Active Social Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    26. David Grubb & Shruti Singh & Peter Tergeist, 2009. "Activation Policies in Ireland," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 75, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Immervoll, Herwig & Richardson, Linda, 2011. "Redistribution Policy and Inequality Reduction in OECD Countries: What Has Changed in Two Decades?," IZA Discussion Papers 6030, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:108-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.