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The dynamics of earnings in Germany: Evidence from social security records

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  • Bönke, Timm
  • Giesecke, Matthias
  • Lüthen, Holger

Abstract

This paper uncovers ongoing trends in idiosyncratic earnings volatility across generations by decomposing residual earnings auto-covariances into a permanent and a transitory component. We employ data on complete earnings life cycles for prime age men born 1935 through 1974 that covers earnings between 1960 and 2009. Over this period, the German labor market undergoes a heavy transformation and experiences strong deregulation, deunionization and a shift in employment from the industrial to the service sector. Our findings of increases in both components reflect the distinct phases of this transformation process. In magnitude, the transitory component increases most strongly in the early 1970s and the 1990s for young workers, whereas the permanent component displays the strongest increases for older workers in the early 1980 and the 2000s. Thus, the changes complicate the labor market entry for young workers while widening wage differences for established workers.

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  • Bönke, Timm & Giesecke, Matthias & Lüthen, Holger, 2015. "The dynamics of earnings in Germany: Evidence from social security records," Discussion Papers 2015/26, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201526
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    Cited by:

    1. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2014. "The Nature of Countercyclical Income Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 621-660.
    2. Bönke, Timm & Harnack, Astrid & Wetter, Miriam, 2019. "Wer gewinnt? Wer verliert? Die Entwicklung auf dem deutschen Arbeitsmarkt seit den frühen Jahren der Bundesrepublik bis heute," Discussion Papers 2019/4, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    3. Bachmann, Ronald & Felder, Rahel & Tamm, Marcus, 2018. "Labour market participation and atypical employment over the life cycle: A cohort analysis for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 786, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. SOLOGON Denisa & VAN KERM Philippe, 2014. "Earnings dynamics, foreign workers and the stability of inequality trends in Luxembourg 1988-2009," LISER Working Paper Series 2014-03, LISER.
    5. Chauvel Louis & Hartung Anne & Palmisano Flaviana, 2019. "Dynamics of Individual Income Rank Volatility: Evidence from West Germany and the US," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 1-22, April.
    6. Paula Garda & Volker Ziemann, 2014. "Economic Policies and Microeconomic Stability: A Literature Review and Some Empirics," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1115, OECD Publishing.
    7. Mirko Felchner, 2015. "Einkommensdynamik bei Selbständigen als Freie Berufe und abhängig Beschäftigte Eine dynamische Paneldatenschätzung mit Daten des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels," FFB-Discussionpaper 101, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
    8. Seckler, Matthias, 2019. "Increasing inequality in lifetime earnings: A tale of educational upgrading and changing employment patterns," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 119, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Earnings dynamics; Life cycle; Earnings distribution; Inequality; Earnings volatility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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