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Estimating income mobility using census data

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  • de Figueiredo, Erik Alencar
  • Ziegelmann, Flávio Augusto

Abstract

This study uses the entropy method to overcome the problem with estimating income distribution dynamics in the absence of data that allow identifying and following up economic units over time. The axiomatic mobility approach (Shorrocks, 1976) [1] and the tools developed by Aebi et al. (1999) [2] were considered. This strategy assumes that income mobility between two time periods is governed by a first-order Markov process. In this context, the measurement of the dynamics of income distribution will be equivalent to fitting cell probabilities for contingency tables, where only marginal distributions are observed. Results suggest that Brazil has low intragenerational income mobility, indicating that its social framework is relatively rigid. In other words, the income class in which an individual is inserted will determine his/her future social position.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications.

Volume (Year): 389 (2010)
Issue (Month): 21 ()
Pages: 4897-4903

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Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:389:y:2010:i:21:p:4897-4903

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Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/physica-a-statistical-mechpplications/

Related research

Keywords: Income mobility; Markov process; Maximum entropy econometrics;

References

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  1. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-24, September.
  2. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
  3. Birchenall, Javier A., 2001. "Income distribution, human capital and economic growth in Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 271-287, October.
  4. Jenkins, Stephen P., 1995. "Did the middle class shrink during the 1980s? UK evidence from kernel density estimates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 407-413, October.
  5. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
  6. Shorrocks, A F, 1976. "Income Mobility and the Markov Assumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 566-78, September.
  7. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
  8. Geweke, John & Marshall, Robert C & Zarkin, Gary A, 1986. "Mobility Indices in Continuous Time Markov Chains," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1407-23, November.
  9. Yuichi Kitamura & Michael Stutzer, 1997. "An Information-Theoretic Alternative to Generalized Method of Moments Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 861-874, July.
  10. Golan, Amos & Judge, George G. & Miller, Douglas, 1996. "Maximum Entropy Econometrics," Staff General Research Papers 1488, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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