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How the Distribution of After-Tax Income Changed over the 1990s Business Cycle: A Comparison of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan

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  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Takashi Oshio
  • Ludmila Rovba

Abstract

Using kernel density estimation we find that over their 1990s business cycles the entire distribution of after-tax (disposable) income moved to the right in the United States and Great Britain while inequality declined. In contrast, Germany and Japan experienced less growth, a rise in inequality and a decline in the middle mass of their distributions that spread mostly to the right, much like the United States over its 1980s business cycle. Inequality fell within the older population in all four countries and within the younger population in the United States and Great Britain, but rose substantially in Germany and Japan.

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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 35.

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Length: 34 p.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp35

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Keywords: income inequality; kernel density estimation; economic well-being; cross-country comparisons;

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References

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  1. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J. S. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Houtenville, Andrew J., 2004. "Long term trends in earnings inequality: what the CPS can tell us," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 295-299, February.
  2. repec:ese:iserwp:2007-14 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Stefan Bach & Giacomo Corneo & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "From Bottom to Top: The Entire Distribution of Market Income in Germany, 1992 - 2001," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 683, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Burkhauser, Richard V, et al, 1999. "Testing the Significance of Income Distribution Changes over the 1980s Business Cycle: A Cross-National Comparison," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 253-72, May-June.
  5. Burkhauser, Richard V & Smeeding, Timothy M & Merz, Joachim, 1996. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(4), pages 381-400, December.
  6. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2007. "Using the P90/P10 Index to Measure US Inequality Trends with Current Population Survey Data: A View from Inside the Census Bureau Vaults," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 699, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Feng, Shuaizhang & Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J.S., 2006. "Levels and Long-Term Trends in Earnings Inequality: Overcoming Current Population Survey Censoring Problems Using the GB2 Distribution," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 57-62, January.
  8. Biewen, Martin, 2000. "Income Inequality in Germany during the 1980s and 1990s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 1-19, March.
  9. Lynn Karoly & Gary Burtless, 1995. "Demographic change, rising earnings inequality, and the distribution of personal well-being, 1959–1989," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 379-405, August.
  10. Michael Förster & Mark Pearson, 2002. "Income Distribution and Poverty in the OECD Area: Trends and Driving Forces," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, OECD Publishing, vol. 2002(1), pages 7-38.
  11. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kenneth A. Couch & Andrew Houtenville & Ludmila Rovba, 2004. "Income Inequality in the 1990s: Re-Forging a Lost Relationship?," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2004-11, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  12. Richard V. Burkhauser & Ludmila Rovba, 2006. "Income Inequality in the 1990s: Comparing the United States, Great Britain and Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 576, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  13. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
  14. Kenneth A. Couch & Mary C. Daly, 2004. "The Improving Relative Status of Black Men," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2004-12, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  15. Toshiaki Tachibanaki, 2005. "Confronting Income Inequality in Japan: A Comparative Analysis of Causes, Consequences, and Reform," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262201585, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Philip R. de Jong, 2008. "Curing the Dutch Disease: Lessons for United States Disability Policy," Working Papers, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center wp188, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  2. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins & Jeff Larrimore, 2008. "Estimating Trends in US Income Inequality Using the Current Population Survey: The Importance of Controlling for Censoring," NBER Working Papers 14247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Jeff Larrimore & Joyce Kwok, 2008. "The Transformation in Who is Expected to Work in the United States and How it Changed the Lives of Single Mothers and People with Disabilities," Working Papers, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center wp187, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

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