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An International Comparison of Equalization Mobility and Lifetime Earnings Inequality: How Continental Europe Resembles North America

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  • Audra J. Bowlus

    (University of Western Ontario)

  • Jean-Marc Robin

    (D├ępartement d'├ęconomie)

Abstract

We compare earnings inequality and mobility across the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and the U.K. during the late 1990s. A flexible model of earnings dynamics that isolates positional mobility within a stable earnings distribution is estimated. Earnings trajectories are then simulated, and lifetime annuity value distributions are constructed. Earnings mobility and employment risk are found to be positively correlated with base-year inequality. Taken together they produce more equalization in countries with high cross-section inequality such that the countries in our sample have more similar lifetime inequality levels than crosssectionmeasures suggest.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09j00488hg5.

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Date of creation: 21 Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09j00488hg5

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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Anthony Smith & Ivan Vidangos, 2009. "Modeling Earnings Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 14743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Baker, Michael & Solon, Gary, 1999. "Earnings Dynamics and Inequality Among Canadian Men, 1976-1992: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Records," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1999130e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  3. Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-62, December.
  4. Haider, S.J., 2000. "Earnings Instability and Earnings Inequality of Males in the United States: 1967-1991," Papers, RAND - Labor and Population Program 00-15, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  5. Christian Schluter & Mark Trede, 2003. "Local versus Global Assessment of Mobility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1313-1335, November.
  6. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  7. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Mark Trede, 2001. "Comparing Income Mobility In Germany And The United States Using Generalized Entropy Mobility Measures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 551-559, August.
  8. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
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