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Baby Booming Inequality? Demographic Change and Earnings Inequality in Norway, 1967-2000

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  • Almas, Ingvild
  • Havnes, Tarjei
  • Mogstad, Magne

Abstract

In this paper, we demonstrate how age-adjusted inequality measures can be used to evaluate whether changes in inequality over time are due to changes in the age-structure. To this end, we use administrative data on earnings for every male Norwegian over the period 1967-2000. We find that the substantial rise in earnings inequality over the 1980s and into the early 1990s, is to some extent driven by the fact that the large baby boom cohorts are approaching the peak of the age-earnings profile. We further demonstrate that the impact of age-adjustments on the trend in inequality during the period 1993-2000 is highly sensitive to the method used: While the most widely used age-adjusted inequality measure indicates little change in inequality over this period, a new and improved age-adjusted measure suggest a decline in inequality.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8393.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8393

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Keywords: age structure; age-earnings profile; Gini coefficient; inequality trend;

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References

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  1. Anthony Shorrocks & Guanghua Wan, 2005. "Spatial decomposition of inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 59-81, January.
  2. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "Earnings Functions and Rates of Return," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20082, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "The Changing Nature of Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Almås, Ingvild & Mogstad, Magne, 2010. "Older or Wealthier? The Impact of Age Adjustment on Cross-Sectional Inequality Measures," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 9/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  19. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Lind, Jo Thori & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2011. "Measuring unfair (in)equality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 488-499.
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  23. Mookherjee, Dilip & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1982. "A Decomposition Analysis of the Trend in UK Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 886-902, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Bönke, Timm & Corneo, Giacomo & Lüthen, Holger, 2011. "Lifetime Earnings Inequality in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6020, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ingvild Almås & Magne Mogstad, 2009. "Older or Wealthier? The Impact of Age Adjustments on the Wealth Inequality Ranking of Countries," Discussion Papers 583, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. Aaberge, Rolf & Mogstad, Magne, 2010. "Robust Inequality Comparisons," IZA Discussion Papers 4769, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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