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Title: Essays on the Causes of Increased Earnings Inequality
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Pizer, Steven Daniel
Essays on the Causes of Increased Earnings Inequality
Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College, 1998. DAI-A 59/03, p. 910, September 1998
Cohort(s): Young Men
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Job Turnover; Unions; Wage Differentials

Does international competition undermine wage differentials and increase inequality? This essay develops two models of the strategic effect of trade on wages then uses quantile regressions on micro data to estimate wage premia for 43 industries from 1984 to 1991 and test the predictions of these models. Wage premia are positively related to import penetration at the mean and the 90th percentile for union workers and negatively related to import penetration at the 10th percentile for nonunion workers. As predicted by theory, the positive relationship is limited to industry-years without capacity constraints, and the negative relationship arises only in constrained industry-years. These trade effects can account for 49% of the observed increase in wage inequality for union workers and 9% of the increase for nonunion workers in manufacturing from 1984 to 1991. Did the declining price of computing intensify earnings inequality? This essay employs data from the FCC to determine whether the decline in the price of quality-adjusted electronic capital from 1992 to 1995 can account for the observed increase in local telephone companies' relative demand for college graduates. Electronic capital and college graduates are estimated to be substitutes while noncollege workers and electronic capital are complements. Consequently, the increased relative demand for college graduates by telecommunications companies cannot be accounted for by changes in the price of electronic capital. Furthermore, the data are consistent with a hypothesis of skill-neutral within-industry technological change. Therefore, I find no support for the proposition that computerization contributed to growing demand for college workers either through skill-biased technological change or through price effects from 1992 to 1995. Trends in voluntary and involuntary job turnover (with James W. Monks). This essay uses data from the National Longitudinal Surveys to show that young men became more likely to change jobs over the period from 1971 to 1990. For whites, this increase is mostly attributable to an increase in the probability of involuntary job change. For nonwhites, the probability of voluntary and involuntary job change both increased.
Bibliography Citation
Pizer, Steven Daniel. Essays on the Causes of Increased Earnings Inequality. Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College, 1998. DAI-A 59/03, p. 910, September 1998.