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Occupational Advantage in the Eighties: An Analysis of the Lifetime Earnings of Men

Daniel H. Johnson and Gerald Makepeace
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Daniel H. Johnson: Department of Economics University of York Heslington York, YO 1 5DD

Work, Employment & Society, 1997, vol. 11, issue 3, 401-411

Abstract: Changes in lifetime earnings potential for men by occupation and socio-economic group are reported for data from the New Earnings Survey. Previous work on the distribution of earnings is augmented, most notably by examining earnings in the 'long run' rather than current earnings and by considering the impact of unemployment on earnings streams.The mean of lifetime earnings across occupations grew by 2.6 per cent although the pattern of growth was uneven and the dispersion of lifetime earnings increased substantially. The analysis for socio-economic groups show that the main beneficiaries are the 'managers', 'professional' and 'intermediate non-manuals'. When the effects of unemployment are taken into account, every group except 'foremen and supervisors' improved their position relative to the 'unskilled', but the extent of the improvement increased with the value of lifetime earnings.

Date: 1997
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