IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Has earnings inequality in Germany changed in the 1980's?

  • Steiner, Viktor
  • Wagner, Kersten
Registered author(s):

    The development of the West German earnings distribution in the 1980's is analysed on the basis of both the German Socio-Economic Panel and micro-data from the Employment Register of the Federal Labour Office. We find that earnings inequality in Germany has increased very little in the 1980's, if at all. It is shown ·that the marked increase in earnings inequality found in previous studies based on the register data is a statistical artifact related to a change in the coding of the earnings data. Our decomposition analysis based on estimated earnings functions reveals that the relative stability of the German earnings distribution in the 1980's has not resulted from large compensating changes in the composition of the labour force on the one hand, and changes in the returns to human capital on the other. While both of these components have changed little in the observation period, the former rather than the latter component has contributed to the small increase in earnings inequality observed in the register data. If anything, the earnings differential between skilled and unskilled workers has become smaller during the 1980's, while within-inequality has contributed very little to changes in inequality. Overall, the empirical results of this study seem compatible with an institutional explanation of the stability of the German earnings distribution.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/29492/1/25821127X.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 96-32.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 1996
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9632
    Contact details of provider: Postal: L 7,1; D - 68161 Mannheim
    Phone: +49/621/1235-01
    Fax: +49/621/1235-224
    Web page: http://www.zew.de/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Christoph Schmidt & Klaus Zimmerman, 1990. "Work Characteristics, Firm Size and Wages," Working Papers 644, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Susan N. Houseman & Katharine G. Abraham, 1995. "Earnings Inequality in Germany," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz (ed.), Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 371-403 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    4. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 1906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Gary Burtless, 1995. "International Trade and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 800-816, June.
    6. Blechinger, Doris & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 1996. "Technological change and skill obsolescence: the case of German apprenticeship training," ZEW Discussion Papers 96-15, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Puhani, Patrick A, 2000. " The Heckman Correction for Sample Selection and Its Critique," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 53-68, February.
    8. Velling, Johannes, 1995. "Wage discrimination and occupational segregation of foreign male workers in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. 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.
    10. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
    11. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    12. Licht, Georg & Steiner, Viktor, 1993. "Assimilation, labour market experience, and earnings profiles of temporary and permanent immigrant workers in germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 93-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    13. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Accounting for Inequality Trends: Decomposition Analyses for the UK, 1971-86," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 29-63, February.
    14. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, 07.
    15. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9632. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

    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.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.