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Rising between-workplace inequalities in high-income countries

Abstract : It is well documented that earnings inequalities have risen in many high-income countries. Less clear are the linkages between rising income inequality and workplace dynamics, how within- and between-workplace inequality varies across countries, and to what extent these inequalities are moderated by national labor market institutions. In order to describe changes in the initial between- and within-firm market income distribution we analyze administrative records for 2,000,000,000+ job years nested within 50,000,000+ workplace years for 14 high-income countries in North America, Scandinavia, Continental and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. We find that countries vary a great deal in their levels and trends in earnings inequality but that the between-workplace share of wage inequality is growing in almost all countries examined and is in no country declining. We also find that earnings inequalities and the share of between-workplace inequalities are lower and grew less strongly in countries with stronger institutional employment protections and rose faster when these labor market protections weakened. Our findings suggest that firm-level restructuring and increasing wage inequalities between workplaces are more central contributors to rising income inequality than previously recognized.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 5:58:12 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 7, 2022 - 10:54:49 AM

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Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Anthony Rainey, Dustin Avent-Holt, Nina Bandelj, István Boza, et al.. Rising between-workplace inequalities in high-income countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, National Academy of Sciences, 2020, 117 (17), pp.9277-9283. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1918249117⟩. ⟨hal-03098529⟩

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