Earnings Inequality and Mobility Trends in the United States: Nationally Representative Estimates from Longitudinally Linked Employer-Employee Data

Source: John M. Abowd, Kevin L. McKinney, Nellie L. Zhao, Journal of Labor Economics, Volume 36, Number S1, January 2018
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From the abstract:
Decomposing the year-to-year changes in the earnings distribution from 2004 to 2013, we analyze the role of the employer in explaining earnings inequality in the United States. Movements between the bottom, middle, and top involve 20.5 million workers each year. Another 19.9 million move between employment and nonemployment. There are large gains from working at a top-paying firm for all skill types. Working for a high-paying firm produces benefits today, through higher earnings, that persist through an increase in the probability of upward mobility. High-paying firms facilitate moving workers to the top of the distribution and keeping them there.