Related BLS programs | Related articles
December 1997, Vol. 120, No. 12
Robert I. Lerman
Professor of Economics, American University, Washington, D.C., and Director, Human Resource Policy Center, the Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
Earnings inequality trends are sensitive to the earnings concept and sample of workers surveyed. The concept of wage distribution across all hours worked yields virtually no change in inequality between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s for measures not influenced by top coding. This article argues that some commonly used measures may be appropriate for normative questions, but they are inappropriate for assessing how market and institutional forces combine to alter the overall distribution of quantities of labor input purchased at each price (wage).
Read excerpt Download full text in PDF (1032K)
Related BLS programs
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Labor Review articles
Has wage inequality stopped growing? December 1997.
Earnings mobility in the United States, 1967-91. September 1995.
A surge in growing income inequality? August 1995.
Gender-related shifts in the distribution of wages. July 1994.
Trends in wage and salary inequality, 1967-88. June 1992.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers