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Equalizing or Disequalizing Lifetime Earnings Differentials?: Earnings Mobility in the EU: 1994-2001

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  • Denisa Maria Sologon
  • Cathal O'Donoghue

Abstract

Do EU citizens have an increased opportunity to improve their position in the distribution of lifetime earnings? To what extent does earnings mobility work to equalize/disequalize longerterm earnings relative to cross-sectional inequality and how does it differ across the EU? Our basic assumption is that mobility measured over a horizon of 8 years is a good proxy for lifetime mobility. We used the Shorrocks (1978) and the Fields (2008) index. Moreover, we explored the impact of differentials attrition on the two indices. The Fields index is affected to a larger extent by differential attrition than the Shorrocks index, but the overall conclusions are not altered. Based on the Shorrocks (1978) index men across EU have an increasing mobility in the distribution of lifetime earnings as they advance in their career. Based on the Fields index (2008) the equalizing impact of mobility increases over the lifetime in all countries, except Portugal, where it turns negative for long horizons. Thus, Portugal is the only country where mobility acts as a disequalizer of lifetime differentials. The highest lifetime mobility is recorded in Denmark, followed by UK, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and the lowest, Portugal. The highest mobility as equalizer of longer term inequality is recorded in Ireland and Denmark, followed by France and Belgium with similar values, then UK, Greece, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 251.

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Length: 64 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp251

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Keywords: panel data; wage distribution; inequality; mobility;

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Cited by:
  1. Heshmati, Almas & Kim, Jungsuk, 2014. "A Survey of the Role of Fiscal Policy in Addressing Income Inequality, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 8119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Sologon, Denisa Maria & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2010. "Earnings Dynamics and Inequality among Men in Luxembourg, 1988-2004: Evidence from Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ronald Bachmann & Peggy Bechara & Sandra Schaffner, 2012. "Wage Inequality and Wage Mobility in Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 0386, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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