Wage inequality has been increasing in most industrialized countries over the last three decades. There are, nonetheless, major differences across countries in terms of the timing and magnitude of the growth in inequality. A large number of explanations have been suggested for these observed changes, including technological progress and the computer revolution, labour market institutions and social norms, and changes in the relative supply of highly educated workers. This paper assesses the validity of these explanations in light of the large differences in inequality growth across countries, and the stunning growth in the concentration of income at the top end of the distribution.
About the speaker
Professor Thomas Lemieux has held positions at MIT and the Université de Montréal prior to joining the faculty at UBC in 1999 where he is a Professor of Economics and a Distinguished University Scholar. Lemieux was a Visiting Professor at Princeton, Stanford and Berkeley. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a founding editor of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. Lemieux has published over 40 articles and 3 books on a variety of topics in labour economics and applied econometrics. Most of his recent research has focused on the causes and consequences of the increase in income inequality in industrialised countries.