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

Richard V. Burkhauser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Stephen E. Rhody
International Economic Review
Vol. 38, No. 4 (Nov., 1997), pp. 775-794
DOI: 10.2307/2527215
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2527215
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Labor Earnings Mobility and Inequality in the United States and Germany during the Growth Years of the 1980s
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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.

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