DP2770 | The Distribution of Earnings in Spain During the 1980s: The Effects of Skill, Unemployment and Union Power

Publication Date


JEL Code(s)


Programme Area(s)



In this Paper we analyse changes in the conditional distributions of male earnings in Spain during the 1980s. We use a large new database of records on individual workers and firms from the Spanish Social Security system for the period 1980-87. The data set is an unbalanced panel subject to censoring due to top and bottom coding. We analyse the behaviour of returns to skill and experience, across sectors and over time. We also study how these returns have been affected over the period by a host of aggregate and sector-specific factors, including unemployment rates and the sectoral coverage of trade union collective agreements.