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June 1992

Trends in wage and salary inequality, 1967-88

W. Norton Grubb, Robert H. Wilson

Earnings inequality in the United States rose in the late 1960's, stabilized for most of the 1970's, then began to grow again in the 1980's. The recent increase arises from changes in labor demand, and not demographic characteristics of U.S. workers. This article explores the relative influence of demographic characteristics and labor market factors on the patterns of national pay inequality from 1967 to 1988, focusing on wages and earnings.

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