Économie et Statistique n° 369-370 - 2003 Public Employment - Careers Professional - Mobility
Wage paths by cohort from 1967 to 2000
Individual wage growth can be broken down into three elements: growth common to the entire economy (date effect), growth linked to the lifecycle (age effect) and growth specific to each cohort (cohort effect). The cohort effect is measured by the permanent wage, which is equal to the average of the wages earned by the individuals in the cohort. The permanent wage rose from cohort to cohort through to the generations born in the early 1940s. Then it fell through to the cohort born in 1956. Since,the downturn in annual remuneration has been mainly due to the decrease in the number of days worked per year and the development of atypical forms of employment. It is much more marked among men than women. Unlike the men, women continue to benefit from a positive cohort effect. The balance between age-related wage growth and the remuneration of new entrants disappeared for the gene-rations born after 1950. These generations' starting wages were lower, but this downturn was offset by faster wage growth at the start of their careers.This new balance is associated with greater differences between individual wage paths within each cohort. These differences concern more wage growth than level. While the spread of wage paths gradually narrowed from the 1938 cohort to the 1954 cohort, paths started diverging again with the 1956 cohort, which arrived on the job market at the end of the postwar economic boom period.