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Workers, Firms and Life-Cycle Wage Dynamics

Paul Bingley and Lorenzo Cappellari

No def067, DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE)

Abstract: Studies of individual wage dynamics typically ignore firm heterogeneity, whereas decompositions of earnings into worker and firm effects abstract from life-cycle considerations. We study firm effects in individual wage dynamics using administrative data on the population of Italian employers and employees. We propose a novel identification strategy for firm-related wage components exploiting the informative content of the wage covariance structure of coworkers. Wage inequality increases three-fold over the working life; firm effects are predominant while young, but sorting of workers into firms becomes increasingly important, explaining the largest share of lifetime inequality. Static models that do not allow for life-cycle dynamics underestimate the importance of sorting and overstate match and firm effects.

Keywords: Wage inequality; Wage dynamics; Co-workers’ covariance. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec and nep-lma
Date: 2018-03
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