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Solon, Gary 1954-

Works: 55 works in 250 publications in 1 language and 1,520 library holdings
Genres: Longitudinal studies  History 
Roles: Author, Contributor
Classifications: HB1, 339.42
Publication Timeline
Publications about Gary Solon
Publications by Gary Solon
Most widely held works by Gary Solon
Earnings dynamics and inequality among Canadian men, 1976-1992 : evidence from longitudinal income tax records by Michael Baker( Book )
18 editions published between 1997 and 1999 in English and held by 118 libraries worldwide
Several recent studies have found that earnings inequality in Canada has grown considerably since the late 1970's. Using an extraordinary data base drawn from longitudinal income tax records, we decompose this growth in earnings inequality into its persistent and transitory components. We find that the growth in earnings inequality reflects both an increase in long-run inequality and an increase in earnings instability. The large size of our earnings panel allows us to estimate and test richer models of earnings dynamics than could be supported by the relatively small panel surveys used in U.S. research. The Canadian data strongly reject several restrictions commonly imposed in the U.S. literature, and they also suggest that imposing these evidently false restrictions may lead to distorted inferences about earnings dynamics and inequality trends
Collecting panel data in developing countries : does it make sense? by Orley Ashenfelter( Book )
12 editions published between 1985 and 1986 in English and held by 90 libraries worldwide
Double trouble : on the value of twins-based estimation of the return to schooling by John Bound( Book )
12 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 72 libraries worldwide
Several recent studies use the schooling and wage variation between monozygotic twins to estimate the return to schooling. In this paper, we summarize the results from this literature, and we examine the implications of endogenous determination of which twin goes to school longer and of measuring schooling with (possibly mean-reverting) error. Endogeneity of between-twins schooling variation is strongly suggested by the extensive (mostly non-economic) literature documenting that the between-twins difference in birth weight is correlated with the between-twins differences in both schooling and IQ. We conclude that twins-based estimation is vulnerable to the same sort of inconsistency that afflicts conventional cross-sectional estimation. We argue, however, that, if one starts with the presumption that endogenous schooling induces upward inconsistency in the estimated return to schooling, the new twins-based estimates may complement other approaches to tightening the upper bound on the return to schooling
Measuring the cyclicality of real wages : how important is composition bias? by Gary Solon( Book )
13 editions published in 1992 in English and held by 50 libraries worldwide
In the period since the 1960's, as in other periods, aggregate time series on real wages have displayed only modest cyclicality. Macroeconomists therefore have described weak cyclicality of real wages as a salient feature of the business cycle. Contrary to this conventional wisdom, our analysis of longitudinal microdata indicates that real wages have been substantially procyclical since the 1960's. We also find that the substantial procyclicality of men's real wages pertains even to workers that stay with the same employer and that women's real wages are less procyclical than men's. Numerous longitudinal studies besides ours have documented the substantial procyclicality of real wages, but none has adequately explained the discrepancy with the aggregate time series evidence. In accordance with a conjecture by Stockman (I983), we show that the true procyclicality of real wages is obscured in aggregate time series because of a composition bias: the aggregate statistics are constructed in a way that gives more weight to low-skill workers during expansions than during recessions. We conclude that, because real wages actually are much more procyclical than they appear in aggregate statistics, theories designed to explain the supposed weakness of real wage cyclicality may be unnecessary. and theories that predict substantially procyclical real wages become more credible
Nature and nurture in the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status : evidence from Swedish children and their biological and rearing parents by Anders Björklund( Book )
11 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 39 libraries worldwide
This study uses an extraordinary Swedish data set to explore the sources of the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status. Merging data from administrative sources and censuses, we investigate the association between sons' and daughters' socioeconomic outcomes and those of their biological and rearing parents. Our analysis focuses on children raised in six different family circumstances: raised by both biological parents, raised by the biological mother without a stepfather, raised by the biological mother with a stepfather, raised by the biological father without a stepmother, raised by the biological father with a stepmother, and raised by two adoptive parents. Relative to the existing literature, the most remarkable feature of our data set is that it contains information on the biological parents even when they are not the rearing parents. We specify a simple additive model of pre-birth (including genetic) and post-birth influences and examine the model's ability to provide a unified account of the intergenerational associations in all six family types. Our results suggest substantial roles for both pre-birth and post-birth factors
Life-cycle variation in the association between current and lifetime earnings by Steven Haider( Book )
10 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 31 libraries worldwide
Researchers in a variety of important economic literatures have assumed that current income variables as proxies for lifetime income variables follow the textbook errors-in-variables model. In an analysis of Social Security records containing nearly career-long earnings histories for the Health and Retirement Study sample, we find that the relationship between current and lifetime earnings departs substantially from the textbook model in ways that vary systematically over the life cycle. Our results can enable more appropriate analysis of and correction for errors-in-variables bias in a wide range of research that uses current earnings to proxy for lifetime earnings
Trends in intergenerational income mobility by Chul-In Lee( Book )
10 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 30 libraries worldwide
Previous studies of recent U.S. trends in intergenerational income mobility have produced widely varying results, partly because of large sampling errors. By making more efficient use of the available information in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we generate more reliable estimates of the recent time-series variation in intergenerational mobility. Our results, which pertain to the cohorts born between 1952 and 1975, do not reveal major changes in intergenerational mobility
New evidence on real wage cyclicality within employer-employee matches by Donggyun Shin( Book )
10 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 27 libraries worldwide
In the most thorough study to date on wage cyclicality among job stayers, Devereux's (2001) analysis of men in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics produced two puzzling findings: (1) the real wages of salaried workers are noncyclical, and (2) wage cyclicality among hourly workers differs between two alternative wage measures. We examine these puzzles with additional evidence from other sources. Devereux's finding of noncyclical real wages among salaried job stayers is not replicated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data. The NLSY data, however, do corroborate his finding of a discrepancy for hourly workers between the cyclicality of the two alternative wage measures. Evidence from the PSID Validation Study contradicts Devereux's conjecture that the discrepancy might be due to a procyclical bias from measurement error in average hourly earnings. Evidence from the Bureau of Labor Statistics establishment survey supports his hypothesis that overtime work accounts for part (but not all) of the discrepancy. We conclude that job stayers' real average hourly earnings are substantially procyclical and that an important portion of that procyclicality probably is due to compensation beyond base wages
Sibling and intergenerational correlations in welfare program participation ( Book )
7 editions published in 1987 in English and held by 27 libraries worldwide
Many previous studies have used sibling correlations to measure the effect of family background on earnings, income? and occupational status. This paper uses data on a sample of sisters to explore the importance of family background as a determinant of welfare program participation. The results show a strikingly high degree of sibling resemblance in welfare receipt. For example, a woman's estimated probability of having participated in welfare programs is .20 if her sister has not participated, but is -.66 if her sister has participated
The ins and outs of cyclical unemployment by Michael W. L Elsby( Book )
9 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 27 libraries worldwide
One of the strongest trends in recent macroeconomic modeling of labor market fluctuations is to treat unemployment inflows as acyclical. This trend stems in large part from an influential paper by Shimer on "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," i.e., the extent to which increased unemployment during a recession arises from an increase in the number of unemployment spells versus an increase in their duration. After broadly reviewing the previous literature, we replicate and extend Shimer's main analysis. Like Shimer, we find an important role for increased duration. But contrary to Shimer's conclusions, we find that even his own methods and data, when viewed in an appropriate metric, reveal an important role for increased inflows to unemployment as well. This finding is further strengthened by our refinements of Shimer's methods of correcting for data problems and by our detailed examination of particular components of the inflow to unemployment. We conclude that a complete understanding of cyclical unemployment requires an explanation of countercyclical inflow rates as well as procyclical outflow rates
The Effect of family background on economic status : a longitudinal analysis of sibling correlations ( Book )
5 editions published in 1987 in English and held by 26 libraries worldwide
Numerous previous studies have used sibling correlations to measure the importance of family background as a determinant of economic status. These studies. however. have been biased by several flaws: failure to separate permanent from transitory status variation (including that from measurement error). failure to account for life-cycle stage. and overly homogeneous samples. This paper presents a methodology to address these problems and applies it to longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Our main conclusion is that family background appears to exert greater influence on economic status than has been indicated by earlier research
Work incentive effects of taxing unemployment benefits by Gary Solon( Book )
7 editions published between 1982 and 1984 in English and held by 26 libraries worldwide
Before 1979, unemployment insurance (UI) benefits were not treated as taxable income in the United States. Several economists criticized this policy on the ground that not taxing UI benefits while taxing earned income allegedly encourages unemployed persons to conduct longer than socially optimal job searches. Since 1979, however, UI benefits received by persons in higher-income families have been subject to income tax. This paper investigates whether the introduction of benefit taxation has had the predicted effect of reducing unemployment duration.The study uses data on a sample of persons that filed for UI in 1978 or 1979 to examine whether high-income claimants collected benefits fo rshorter periods after the tax change than they did before benefits became taxable. As part of the empirical analysis, the paper develops a generalization of the Weibull distribution and applies a limited-dependent-variable technique for this distribution similar to the Tobit technique for the normal distribution. Despite some variation in the results from different model specifications, the analysis presents persuasive evidence of a tax effect on unemployment duration. The 1979 policy change is estimated to have reduced average compensated unemployment duration among the sampled high-income claimants by about one week
Pay differences between women's and men's jobs : the empirical foundations of comparable worth legislation by George Johnson( Book )
7 editions published in 1984 in English and held by 25 libraries worldwide
Civil rights legislation of the 1960s made it illegal foran employer to pay men and women on different bases for the same work or to discriminate against women in hiring, job assignment, or promotion. Two decades later, however, the ratio of women's to men's earnings has shown little upward movement. Furthermore, major sex differences in occupational distribution persist with predominantly female jobs typically paying less than predominantly male jobs. This negative relationship between wage rates and femaleness of occupatiop has stimulated efforts, in both the judicial and political arenas, to establish "comparable worth" procedures for setting wage rates. This paper etimates the relationship between wages and femaleness of occupation and finds that it is indeed negative even after controlling for relevant worker and job characteristics. The magnitude of the relationship, however, implies a surprisingly small effect for a comprehensive comparable worth policy. The estimates indicate that, even if comparable worth succeeded in eliminating this negative relationship, the disparity between mean male and female wages would be reduced by well under ten percent of its current magnitude
Trends in men's earnings volatility : what does the Panel Study of Income Dynamics show? by Donggyun Shin( Book )
9 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 16 libraries worldwide
Using Panel Study of Income Dynamics data for 1969 through 2004, we examine movements in men's earnings volatility. Like many previous studies, we find that earnings volatility is substantially countercyclical. As for secular trends, we find that men's earnings volatility increased during the 1970s, but did not show a clear trend afterwards until a new upward trend appeared in the last few years. These patterns are broadly consistent with the findings of recent studies based on other data sets
Two-sample instrumental variables estimators by Atsushi Inoue( Book )
5 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 13 libraries worldwide
"Following an influential article by Angrist and Krueger (1992) on two-sample instrumental variables (TSIV) estimation, numerous empirical researchers have applied a computationally convenient two-sample two-stage least squares (TS2SLS) variant of Angrist and Krueger's estimator. In the two-sample context, unlike the single-sample situation, the IV and 2SLS estimators are numerically distinct. Our comparison of the properties of the two estimators demonstrates that the commonly used TS2SLS estimator is more asymptotically efficient than the TSIV estimator and also is more robust to a practically relevant type of sample stratification"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
Measuring what employers really do about entry wages over the business cycle by Pedro S Martins( Book )
9 editions published between 2010 and 2011 in English and held by 12 libraries worldwide
In models recently published by several influential macroeconomic theorists, rigidity in the real wages that firms pay newly hired workers plays a crucial role in generating realistically large cyclical fluctuations in unemployment. There is remarkably little evidence, however, on whether employers' hiring wages really are invariant to business cycle conditions. We review the small empirical literature and show that the methods used thus far are poorly suited for identifying employers' wage practices. We propose a simpler and more relevant approach - use matched employer/employee longitudinal data to identify entry jobs and then directly track the cyclical variation in the real wages paid to workers newly hired into those jobs. We illustrate the methodology by applying it to data from an annual census of employers in Portugal over the period 1982-2007. We find that real entry wages in Portugal over this period tend to be about 1.8 percent higher when the unemployment rate is one percentage point lower. Like most recent evidence on other aspects of wage cyclicality, our results suggest that the cyclical elasticity of wages is similar to that of employment
Theoretical models of inequality transmission across multiple generations by Gary Solon( Book )
5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 9 libraries worldwide
Existing theoretical models of intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status have strong implications for the association of outcomes across multiple generations of a family. These models, however, are highly stylized and do not encompass many plausible avenues for transmission across multiple generations. This paper extends existing models to encompass some of these avenues and draws out empirical implications for the multigenerational persistence of socioeconomic status
What are we weighting for? by Gary Solon( Book )
5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 9 libraries worldwide
The purpose of this paper is to help empirical economists think through when and how to weight the data used in estimation. We start by distinguishing two purposes of estimation: to estimate population descriptive statistics and to estimate causal effects. In the former type of research, weighting is called for when it is needed to make the analysis sample representative of the target population. In the latter type, the weighting issue is more nuanced. We discuss three distinct potential motives for weighting when estimating causal effects: (1) to achieve precise estimates by correcting for heteroskedasticity, (2) to achieve consistent estimates by correcting for endogenous sampling, and (3) to identify average partial effects in the presence of unmodeled heterogeneity of effects. In each case, we find that the motive sometimes does not apply in situations where practitioners often assume it does. We recommend diagnostics for assessing the advisability of weighting, and we suggest methods for appropriate inference -- National Bureau of Economic Research web site
The fragility of estimated effects of unilateral divorce laws on divorce rates by Jin Young Lee( Book )
7 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 6 libraries worldwide
Following an influential article by Friedberg (1998), Wolfers (2006) explored the sensitivity of Friedberg's results to allowing for dynamics in the response of divorce rates to the adoption of unilateral divorce laws. We in turn explore the sensitivity of Wolfers's results to variations in estimation method and functional form, and we find that the results are extremely fragile. We conclude first that the impact of unilateral divorce laws remains unclear. Second, extending Wolfers's methodological insight about sensitivity of differences-in-differences estimation to allowance for dynamic response, we suggest that identification in differences-in-differences research becomes weaker in the presence of dynamics, especially in the presence of unit-specific time trends
Wage Adjustment in the Great Recession by Michael W. L Elsby( Book )
5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Using 1979-2011 Current Population Survey data for the United States and 1975-2011 New Earnings Survey data for Great Britain, we study wage behavior in both countries, with particular attention to the Great Recession. Real wages are procyclical in both countries, but the procyclicality of real wages varies across recessions, and does so differently between the two countries. U.S. distributions of year-to-year nominal wage change show many workers reporting zero change (suggesting wage stickiness) and many reporting nominal reductions (suggesting wage flexibility), but both findings could be distorted by reporting error. The British data, which are based on employers' payroll records, show much lower prevalence of zero wage change, but still show surprisingly frequent nominal wage cuts. The complex constellation of empirical regularities defies explanation by simple theories
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Alternative Names
Solon, G. 1954-
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