Godechot Olivier, 2012, « Is finance responsible for the rise in wage inequality in France? », Socio-Economic Review, vol. 10, n°2, p. 1-24.
Based on the Déclaration Annuelle de Données Sociales, a very detailed French database on wages, we show that wage inequality started to increase in France in the mid-1990s. This phenomenon is limited to the top end of income distribution and concerns mainly the top 0.1%, whose share of total salaries increased from 1.2 to 2% between 1996 and 2007. This increase in inequality was accompanied by some changes in the social composition of this wage elite. These include a decline in CEOs and an increase in lower rank management, such as chief officers and other administrative managers, as well as a rise in sportspersons. A sector approach shows that finance (3% of private sector employees) is responsible for half of the rise in inequality at the top end of wage distribution. We discuss the role the volume of financial activity plays in the tremendous increase of top financial wages.
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