Wage inequalities in France 1976-2004: a quantile regression analysis
This paper studies changes in wage differentials accross education groups for full-time male workers in the French private sector, from 1976 to 2004. We apply quantile regressions to Mincer-type equations to disentangle between- and within-education group wage inequalities, and we describe separately their evolutions. We use a matched dataset of administrative data and Census information, which contains yearly data. Our main results are: (1) the overall wage inequality was stable from 1976 to 1992 and slightly decreased from 1995 to 2004. (2) Within-education group wage inequalities increase with education and are higher across non-vocational degrees than vocational ones. (3) Between-education group wage inequalities increase with experience. (4) The within-education group wage inequalities were rather stable from 1976 to 1992 and decreased between 1995 and 2004, strongly for low levels of experience. (5) The between-education group wage inequalities decreased all over the period, due to decreasing education premiums, particularly for low levels of experience. These results are related to the dramatic evolutions of the French labor market during this period: older cohorts gradually replaced by more educated ones, unemployment and minimum wage rises.