Income Mobility in Old Age in Britain and Germany
AbstractThe increases in human longevity in recent decades and the trends for early retirement have posed new challenges for policy makers, and require a holistic understanding of the processes that influence the economic resources of older people. This paper contributes to this knowledge by examining the income mobility experienced by older people living in Britain and Germany during the 1990s, and by identifying personal attributes and life-course events that influenced its direction and likelihood. The analysis uses the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) panel data. The comparative perspective yields insights about the different income experience of older people in the two markedly different welfare regimes. Results show that old-age income mobility is more pronounced in Britain than in Germany, and that in both countries its occurrence is particularly associated with changes in living arrangements, in the employment status of the co-resident family members and with widowhood among women. Unemployment during working life is also associated with significant negative later life income mobility. Among those on low incomes, a high share of income from an earnings-related pension had a significant and positive effect in both countries. One policy implication is the need to strengthen the social safety net, to safeguard against downward income mobility in old age, particularly among widows. Policy incentives are required to encourage flexible living arrangements in old age, as well as a greater protection from unemployment during working life, more so in Germany than in Britain.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE in its series CASE Papers with number 089.
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/default.asp
income mobility; old age; pensions; Britain and Germany;
Other versions of this item:
- R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
- J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-02-26 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fields, Gary S & Ok, Efe A, 1999. "Measuring Movement of Incomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(264), pages 455-71, November.
- David A. Wise, 1989. "The Economics of Aging," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number wise89-1.
- Shorrocks, Anthony, 1978. "Income inequality and income mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 376-393, December.
- Richard Blundell & Paul Johnson, 1999. "Pensions and Retirement in the United Kingdom," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 403-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Axel Borsch-Supan & Reinhold Schnabel, 1999.
"Social Security and Retirement in Germany,"
in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 135-180
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Börsch-Supan, Axel & Schnabel, Reinhold, 1997. "Social security and retirement in germany," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 97-20, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
- Axel Borsch-Supan & Reinhold Schnabel, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Germany," NBER Working Papers 6153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bliss, Christopher, 1999. "Galton's Fallacy and Economic Convergence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 4-14, January.
- Tsakloglou, Panos, 1996. "Elderly and Non-elderly in the European Union: A Comparison of Living Standards," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(3), pages 271-91, September.
- Karen Holden & Richard Burkhauser & Daniel Feaster, 1988. "The timing of falls into poverty after retirement and widowhood," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 405-414, August.
- Jarvis, Sarah & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1998. "How Much Income Mobility Is There in Britain?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 428-43, March.
- Fields, Gary S. & Ok, Efe A., 1996. "The Meaning and Measurement of Income Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 349-377, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.