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Rising Wage Inequality in Germany

  • Gernandt, Johannes
  • Pfeiffer, Friedhelm

This paper investigates the evolution of wages and the recent tendency to rising wage inequality in Germany, based on the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) for 1984 to 2004. Between 1984 and 1994 the wage distribution was fairly stable. Wage inequality started to increase around 1994 in Germany for all workers and for prime age dependent male workers as well. Rising inequality is not the result of the recent rise in self-employment. In West Germany rising inequality occurred in the lower part of the wage distribution, in East Germany in the upper part of the wage distribution. While residual wage inequality accounted for two-thirds of rising wage inequality in West Germany, in East Germany price effects dominated. In West Germany the group of workers with low tenure experienced higher inequality.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 06-19.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:4598
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  1. Dinardo, J. & Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Cahiers de recherche 9406, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
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  4. Schütz, Gabriela & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "Education policy and equality of opportunity," Munich Reprints in Economics 19901, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2005. "Existenzgründungen: Ein Weg zur Beschäftigungsförderung?," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-71, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Kohn, Karsten, 2006. "Rising Wage Dispersion, After All! The German Wage Structure at the Turn of the Century," IZA Discussion Papers 2098, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F121-F149, February.
  8. Mario Izquierdo & Aitor Lacuesta, 2006. "Wage inequality in Spain: recent developments," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0615, Banco de Espa�a.
  9. Budria, Santiago & Telhado-Pereira, Pedro, 2005. "Educational Qualifications and Wage Inequality: Evidence for Europe," MPRA Paper 91, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  11. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1994. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," NBER Working Papers 4678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eswar Prasad, 2000. "The Unbearable Stability of the German Wage Structure: Evidence and Interpretation," IMF Working Papers 00/22, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  14. 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 410-42, June.
  15. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, . "Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity," IEW - Working Papers 044, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  16. Thomas Lemieux, 2002. "Decomposing changes in wage distributions: a unified approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 646-688, November.
  17. Gernandt, Johannes & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2005. "Einstiegslöhne bei unvollkommenen Arbeitsmärkten," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-26, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  18. Wolfgang Franz & Viktor Steiner, 2000. "Wages in the East German Transition Process: Facts and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 241-269, 08.
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  21. 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.
  22. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
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  24. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  25. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  26. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  27. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Franz, Wolfgang, 2000. "Jobs. Jobs? Jobs! Orientierungshilfen für den Weg zu mehr Beschäftigung," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-49, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  28. Volker Ludwig & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2006. "Abschreibungsraten allgemeiner und beruflicher Ausbildungsinhalte - empirische Evidenz auf Basis subjektiver Einschätzungen," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 226(3), pages 260-284, May.
  29. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:2:p:843-881 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Regina T. Riphahn, 2002. "Bruttoeinkommensverteilung in Deutschland 1984 - 1999 und Ungleichheit unter ausländischen Erwerbstätigen," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 272, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  31. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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