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The Changing Distribution of Earnings in OECD Countries

The Changing Distribution of Earnings in OECD Countries

  • Author:
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 9780199532438
  • Published In: May 2008
  • Format: Hardback , 506 pages
  • Jurisdiction: Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, International, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S. ? Disclaimer:
    Countri(es) stated herein are used as reference only

List Price: HKD 512.50

HKD 497.13 Save HKD 15.37 (3%)

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  • Description 
  • Contents 
  • Author 
  • Reviews
  • Details

    • Includes an accessible introduction intended for the non-expert
    • Contains an extensive new data set covering 20 OECD countries
    • Provides new theories which challenge current thinking on the relationship between earnings and education, globalization, labour market rigidity, and technology

    This book is about how much people earn and why the distribution of earnings has been changing over time. The gap between the top and bottom in the United States has widened significantly since 1980. Why has this happened? Is it due to new technologies? What is the role of globalisation? Are there historical precedents?

    The book begins with the "race" between technology and education, and shows that continuing technical progress does not necessarily imply a continuing rise in dispersion. It then examines the experience of 20 OECD countries over the twentieth century, material presented in the form of 20 country case studies. The book breaks new ground in assembling data on the distribution of individual earnings covering much of the twentieth century and drawing on a variety of under-exploited sources.

    The findings overturn a number of widely-held beliefs. It is not the earnings of the low paid that have been most affected by the recent changes; widening is largely due to what is happening at the top. The recent rise in earnings dispersion is not unprecedented, but should be seen as part of a longer-run history of successive compression and expansion of earnings differences.

    Readership: Students, researchers, academics, and policy makers with an interest in earnings, labour markets, business, and executive compensation.

  • Part I: The Lecture
    1: Introduction
    2: The race between technology and education- the textbook model
    3: Taking data seriously - where the data come from and how we should use them
    4: The changes in dispersion since 1980
    5: Recent history in full - was there a lull before the storm?
    6: A longer-run view of the earnings distribution - the Great Compression and the Golden Age
    7: What we are seeking to explain
    8: A behavioural model of change in pay differentials - the "fanning out" at the top of the earnings distribution
    9: Superstars and pyramids - two complementary explanations for changes in top earnings
    10: Conclusions
    Part II Details of the Models
    Note 1 The dynamics of supply and demand
    Note 2 A behavioural model of changing pay norms
    Note 3 Superstars and pyramids
    Part III New Empirical Evidence for 20 OECD Countries
    Introduction to Part III
    A: Australia
    B: Austria
    C: Canada
    D: Czech Republic
    E: Denmark
    F: Finland
    G: France
    H: Germany
    I: Hungary
    J: Ireland
    K: Italy
    L: Netherlands
    M: New Zealand
    N: Norway
    O: Poland
    P: Portugal
    Q: Sweden
    R: Switzerland
    S: United Kingdom
    T: United States

  • A B Atkinson, Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford

  • "This book demonstrates his continued mastery of the minutiae of longitudinal data sets...[..] if the source material were not reason enough to read this book...it's fresh challenge to conventional wisdom on the matter of earnings dispersion should be." - John Philpot, Chief economist, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) The Business Economist

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