Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Lower and Upper Bounds of Unfair Inequality: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US

Contents:

Author Info

  • Niehues, Judith

    ()
    (Cologne Institute for Economic Research)

  • Peichl, Andreas

    ()
    (ZEW Mannheim)

Abstract

Previous estimates of unfair inequality of opportunity (IOp) are only lower bounds because of the unobservability of the full set of endowed circumstances beyond the sphere of individual responsibility. In this paper, we suggest a new estimator based on a fixed effects panel model which additionally allows identifying an upper bound. We illustrate our approach by comparing Germany and the US based on harmonized micro data. We find significant and robust differences between lower and upper bound estimates – both for gross and net earnings based either on periodical or permanent income – for both countries. We discuss the cross-country differences and similarities in IOp in the light of di¤erences in social mobility and persistence.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5834.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5834.

as in new window
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5834

Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information:
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: wage inequality; fairness; equality of opportunity; redistribution;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Fleurbaey Marc, 1995. "Three Solutions for the Compensation Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 505-521, April.
  2. Ooghe, Erwin & Peichl, Andreas, 2010. "Fair and Efficient Taxation under Partial Control: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 5388, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998113e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  4. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2010. "Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden: Capitalist dynasties in the land of equal opportunity?," Working Paper Series 9/2010, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  5. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. John E. Roemer, 2002. "Equality of opportunity: A progress report," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 455-471, April.
  7. Angeletos, George-Marios & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," Scholarly Articles 4553009, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Blackburn, McKinley L., 2007. "Estimating wage differentials without logarithms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, January.
  9. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Inequality of opportunities vs. inequality of outcomes: Are Western societies all alike?," Working Papers 54, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  10. Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo, 2009. "Accounting for Family Background when Designing Optimal Income Taxes: A Microeconometric Simulation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 4598, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Van Kerm, Philippe, 2003. "What Lies Behind Income Mobility? Reranking and Distributional Change in Belgium, Western Germany and the USA," IRISS Working Paper Series, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD 2003-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  12. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "How Progressive is the U.S. Federal Tax System? A Historical and International Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  13. John E. Roemer & Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino & Johan Fritzell & Stephen P. Jenkins & Ive Marx & Marianne Page & Evert Pommer & Javier Ruiz-Castillo & Maria Jesus San Segundo & Torben Tranæs & Gert G, . "To What Extent Do Fiscal Regimes Equalize Opportunities for Income Acquisition among Citizens?," EPRU Working Paper Series, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics 00-10, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  14. Rolf Aaberge & Magne Mogstad & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Measuring long-term inequality of opportunity," Discussion Papers 620, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  15. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.
  16. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  17. Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2009. "Family background and income during the rise of the welfare state: Brother correlations in income for Swedish men born 1932-1968," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 671-680, June.
  18. James E. Foster & Efe A. Ok, 1999. "Lorenz Dominance and the Variance of Logarithms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 901-908, July.
  19. Peichl, Andreas & Schneider, Hilmar & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2010. "Documentation IZAΨMOD: The IZA Policy SImulation MODel," IZA Discussion Papers 4865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Marc Fleurbaey & Vito Peragine, 2009. "Ex ante versus ex post equality of opportunity," Working Papers 141, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  21. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
  22. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881, May.
  23. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
  24. Dale T. Mortensen & Bent Jesper Christensen & Jesper Bagger, 2010. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion: Labor Quality or Rent Sharing?," 2010 Meeting Papers 758, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2010. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," Working Papers 2011-020, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  26. Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Roemer, John E., 2011. "Equality of Opportunity and the Distribution of Long-Run Income in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 5466, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Dirk Krüger, 2009. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," MEA discussion paper series 09184, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  28. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Hilmar Schneider, 2010. "Does Size Matter? The Impact of Changes in Household Structure on Income Distribution in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 280, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  29. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2010. "Fair and Unfair Income Inequalities in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 5025, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
  31. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  32. Nicolas Pistolesi, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in the land of opportunities, 1968–2001," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-433, December.
  33. Dunnzlaff, Lina & Neumann, Dirk & Niehues, Judith & Peichl, Andreas, 2010. "Equality of Opportunity and Redistribution in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 5375, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  34. Kurt Devooght, 2008. "To Each the Same and to Each his Own: A Proposal to Measure Responsibility-Sensitive Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 280-295, 05.
  35. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-18, December.
  36. 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.
  37. Lefranc, Arnaud & Pistolesi, Nicolas & Trannoy, Alain, 2009. "Equality of opportunity and luck: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1189-1207, December.
  38. Amitabh Chandra, 2000. "Labor-Market Dropouts and the Racial Wage Gap: 1940-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 333-338, May.
  39. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  40. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  41. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. SOEP based publications

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5834. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.