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Essays on skills, wages, and inequality in Germany
Essays on skills, wages, and inequality in Germany
Income inequality has increase in almost all OECD countries over the last three decades (OECD 2014) and that increase is mostly driven by increasing inequality in labor incomes (Piketty and Saez 2014). In my dissertation “Essays on Skills, Wages, and Inequality in Germany” I study various aspects related to the question of what drives inequality in labor incomes. In my first chapter (“The State of the German Labor Market”), I use some of the best data available to provide an evidence-based, up-to-date description of recent wage structure and employment trends in Germany. In my second chapter (“Skill Premiums and the Supply of Young Workers” joint with Albrecht Glitz) I ask whether changes in the supply of skills, i.e. for instance the number of college graduates or workers with vocational training, can help to explain wage inequality, in particular at the lower end of the distribution. My third chapter (“Compensating Differentials and the Introduction of Smoking Bans”) starts from the idea that up to 15% of wage inequality might be due to compensating differentials (Sorkin 2016), i.e. the extra pay associated with jobs that are more dangerous or unpleasant than others. This argument, however, relies on indirect evidence while direct evidence for such compensating differentials has been largely missing. I fill this gap by exploiting the introduction of smoking bans in Germany looking at wages of waiters in the hospitality industry as a natural experiment to provide quasi-experimental evidence for compensating differentials in the labor market.
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Wissmann, Daniel
2018
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Wissmann, Daniel (2018): Essays on skills, wages, and inequality in Germany. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Economics
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Abstract

Income inequality has increase in almost all OECD countries over the last three decades (OECD 2014) and that increase is mostly driven by increasing inequality in labor incomes (Piketty and Saez 2014). In my dissertation “Essays on Skills, Wages, and Inequality in Germany” I study various aspects related to the question of what drives inequality in labor incomes. In my first chapter (“The State of the German Labor Market”), I use some of the best data available to provide an evidence-based, up-to-date description of recent wage structure and employment trends in Germany. In my second chapter (“Skill Premiums and the Supply of Young Workers” joint with Albrecht Glitz) I ask whether changes in the supply of skills, i.e. for instance the number of college graduates or workers with vocational training, can help to explain wage inequality, in particular at the lower end of the distribution. My third chapter (“Compensating Differentials and the Introduction of Smoking Bans”) starts from the idea that up to 15% of wage inequality might be due to compensating differentials (Sorkin 2016), i.e. the extra pay associated with jobs that are more dangerous or unpleasant than others. This argument, however, relies on indirect evidence while direct evidence for such compensating differentials has been largely missing. I fill this gap by exploiting the introduction of smoking bans in Germany looking at wages of waiters in the hospitality industry as a natural experiment to provide quasi-experimental evidence for compensating differentials in the labor market.