The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper provides evidence that cross-sectional wage inequality in the U.K. rose sharply in the 1980s, continued to rise moderately through the mid-1990s and has remained essentially unchanged since then. As in the U.S., increases in within-group inequality account for a substantial fraction of the rise in wage dispersion during 1975-99. Compositional shifts in the occupational and industry structures of aggregate employment are also shown to have had important effects on the evolution of wage inequality. The convergence of the wage distributions for men and women has, however, had a stabilizing effect on the overall wage distribution.