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Labor in the New Economy$
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Katharine G. Abraham, James R. Spletzer, and Michael Harper Harper

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226001432

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226001463.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

What Do We Really Know about Changes in Wage Inequality?

What Do We Really Know about Changes in Wage Inequality?

(p.17) 1 What Do We Really Know about Changes in Wage Inequality?
Labor in the New Economy

Thomas Lemieux

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the changes in wage inequality over the last thirty years. It tries to identify in the clearest possible way, using Current Population Survey (CPS) data, what have been the main changes in inequality and the wage structure since the early 1970s. The purpose of this exercise is to establish the basic facts about the variety of measurement problems and identify changes in wage inequality. These measurement problems include topcoding, the growing nonresponse to earnings item in the CPS. The pattern of change in inequality across education groups is highly consistent with the broader changes at the top and low ends of the distribution. The mean wages of college graduates and postgraduates increased steadily relative to high school graduates, though the growth was more marked in the 1980s.

Keywords:   wage inequality, current population survey, educational attainment, earnings, wage differences

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