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Are Within-Groups `Abilities' Distribution Constant on Time?

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  • Manuel Hidalgo

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide & Ivie)

Abstract

The analysis of wage inequality has had a lot of tradition since the early nineties, in particular seeking an explanation for residual wage inequality defined as the inequality which is not explained by observables characteristics. However, some assumptions made in order to delve into the causes of wage inequality evolution are far from realistic, as the one assuming constancy in the distribution of non-observed characteristics within each cohort of workers employed (ability distribution). In this work, this latter hypothesis is relaxed. The main contribution is that this paper explicitly considers and values the change in ability distribution and its effects on total wage inequality. The conclusion is that non considering the changes in ability distribution may overvalued the effects of other possibles causes, as for example changes in prices paid to unobserved skills. I use Spanish data to evaluate this new approximation.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Hidalgo, 2009. "Are Within-Groups `Abilities' Distribution Constant on Time?," Working Papers 09.15, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:09.15
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    File URL: http://www.upo.es/serv/bib/wps/econ0915.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chay, Kenneth Y. & Lee, David S., 2000. "Changes in relative wages in the 1980s Returns to observed and unobserved skills and black-white wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 1-38, November.
    2. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    3. Josep Pijoan-Mas & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2010. "Spain is Different: Falling Trends of Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 154-178, January.
    4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497.
    5. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-1047.
    6. Gould, Eric D & Moav, Omer & Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. "Precautionary Demand for Education, Inequality, and Technological Progress," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 285-315, December.
    7. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1997. "How the Changing Market Structure of U.S. Higher Education Explains College Tuition," NBER Working Papers 6323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
    9. Gottschalk, Peter & Moffitt, Robert A, 1994. "Welfare Dependence: Concepts, Measures, and Trends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 38-42, May.
    10. 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 410-442, June.
    11. Mario Izquierdo & Aitor Lacuesta, 2006. "Wage inequality in Spain: recent developments," Working Papers 0615, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    12. Manuel A. Hidalgo, 2008. "Wage Inequality in Spain, 1980-2000," Working Papers 08.08, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ability distribution; residual wage inequality; education.;

    JEL classification:

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

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