A recent “revisionist” literature characterizes the pronounced rise in U.S. wage inequality since 1980 as an “episodic” event of the first half of the 1980s driven by nonmarket factors (particularly a falling real minimum wage) and concludes that continued increases in wage inequality since the late 1980s substantially reflect the mechanical confounding effects of changes in labor force composition. Analyzing data from the Current Population Survey for 1963 to 2005, we find limited support for these claims.
Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the RevisionistsDavid H. Autor, Lawrence F. Katz, and Melissa Kearney ,
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The Review of Economics and Statistics