Labor Earnings Mobility and Inequality in the United States and Germany During the Growth Years of the 1980s

44 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2000 Last revised: 14 May 2021

See all articles by Richard V. Burkhauser

Richard V. Burkhauser

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM); University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Syracuse University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stephen E. Rhody

Syracuse University - Center for Policy Research

Date Written: April 1997

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed increased interest in issues of inequality and mobility in the labor market. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the German Socio-Economic Panel, we compare the labor earnings mobility of prime age men and women in the United States and Germany during the growth years of the 1980s. Despite major differences in labor market institutions we find very similar patterns in the two countries. Our formal models of labor earnings dynamics suggest a great deal of persistence in both countries. In the United States this may derive from permanent individual-specific differences among men, while in Germany random shocks are found to persist longer for men. Women in Germany and the United States have similar earnings dynamics.

Suggested Citation

Burkhauser, Richard V. and Holtz-Eakin, Douglas and Rhody, Stephen E., Labor Earnings Mobility and Inequality in the United States and Germany During the Growth Years of the 1980s (April 1997). NBER Working Paper No. w5988, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225767

Richard V. Burkhauser

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
161 Barry Street
Carlton, VIC 3053
Australia

Douglas Holtz-Eakin (Contact Author)

Syracuse University ( email )

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Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States
315-443-3612 (Phone)
315-443-3717 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stephen E. Rhody

Syracuse University - Center for Policy Research ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

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