The Evolution of Individual Male Earnings in Great Britain: 1975–95



I study the dynamic structure of male wages in Great Britain using the New Earnings Survey Panel from 1975–95. Computing auto-covariances of individual wages by cohort I find evidence of a permanent component of earnings that increases over the life cycle and a highly persistent, serially correlated transitory component. In addition, the estimated variances of both these components have risen over this period, each explaining about half the rise in inequality. Using individual's occupation at age 22, I split the sample into four skill groups. I find some differences across these groups, with the rise in the permanent variance most important for the manual groups.