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What Can We Learn from Idiosyncratic Wage Changes?
I document six facts about wage changes. First, most pay revisions occur at yearly frequency, but a small proportion occur at idiosyncratic times. Second, idiosyncratic pay changes are larger and more dispersed than year-end pay changes and resemble more pay changes occurring at job-to-job transitions. Third, idiosyncratic pay changes are more common for workers with less experience and, forth, in firms higher on the job-ladder. Fifth, industries in which the incidence of idiosyncratic raises have risen have experienced greater declines in labor share. Sixth, industries in which more firms ...
Anatomy of Lifetime Earnings Inequality: Heterogeneity in Job Ladder Risk vs. Human Capital
We study the determinants of lifetime earnings (LE) inequality in the U.S. by focusing on job ladder dynamics and on-the-job learning as sources of wage growth. Using administrative data, we document that i) lower LE workers change jobs more often, which is mainly driven by nonemployment; ii) average annual earnings growth for job stayers is similar, around 2% in the bottom two-thirds of the LE distribution, whereas for job switchers it rises with LE; iii) top LE workers enjoy around 10% average earnings growth regardless of job switching. We estimate a job ladder model with on-the-job ...