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An International Comparison of Lifetime Inequality: How Continental Europe Resembles North America

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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 crosssection measures suggest.

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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity in its series University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers with number 20116.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20116

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Postal: CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/cibc_workingpapers.html

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  1. Peter Gottschalk & Minh Huynh, 2006. "Are Earnings Inequality and Mobility Overstated? The Impact of Non-Classical Measurement Error," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 649, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Aaberge, Rolf & Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Palme, Mårten & Pedersen, Peder & Smith, Nina & Wennemo, Tom, 1996. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 98, Stockholm School of Economics, revised Aug 2002.
  3. Audra J, Bowlus & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Twenty Years of Rising Inequality in US Lifetime Labor Income Values," Working Papers 2002-58, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  4. Joseph G. Altonji & Anthony Smith & Ivan Vidangos, 2009. "Modeling Earnings Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 14743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Haider, S.J., 2000. "Earnings Instability and Earnings Inequality of Males in the United States: 1967-1991," Papers 00-15, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  6. Geweke, John & Keane, Michael, 2000. "An empirical analysis of earnings dynamics among men in the PSID: 1968-1989," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 293-356, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Daniel Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2000. "Trajectoires comparées des chômeurs en France et aux États-Unis," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 332(1), pages 17-26.
  9. 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.
  10. Cohen, Daniel, 1999. "Welfare differentials across French and US labor markets $e_A general equilibrium interpretation," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9904, CEPREMAP.
  11. Christopher J. Flinn, 2002. "Labour Market Structure and Inequality: A Comparison of Italy and the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 611-645.
  12. Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Robert A. Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2002. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Earnings in the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C68-C73, March.
  14. 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, vol. 44(4), pages 1313-1335, November.
  15. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
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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).

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