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Income risk, income mobility and welfare

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  • Krebs, Tom
  • Krishna, Pravin
  • Maloney, William F.

Abstract

This paper develops a framework for the quantitative analysis of individual income dynamics, mobility and welfare. Individual income is assumed to follow a stochastic process with two (unobserved) components, component representing measurement error or transitory income shocks and an Autoregressive (AR(1)) component representing persistent changes in income. The analysis uses a tractable consumption-saving model with labor income risk and incomplete markets to relate income dynamics to consumption and welfare, and derive analytical expressions for income mobility and welfare as a function of the various parameters of the underlying income process. The empirical application of the framework using data on individual incomes from Mexico provides striking results. Much of measured income mobility is driven by measurement error or transitory income shocks and therefore (almost) welfare-neutral. A smaller part of measured income mobility is due to either welfare-reducing income risk or welfare-enhancing catching-up of low-income individuals with high-income individuals, both of which have economically significant effects on social welfare. Decomposing mobility into its fundamental components is thus seen to be crucial from the standpoint of welfare evaluation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6254.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6254

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Inequality; Labor Policies; Roads&Highways; Income;

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References

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  1. Fields, Gary S. & Cichello, Paul & Freije, Samuel & Menéndez, Marta & Newhouse, David, 2003. "For Richer or for Poorer ? Evidence from Indonesia, South Africa, Spain, and Venezuela," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1560, Paris Dauphine University.
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  8. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-40, April.
  9. Peter Gottschalk & Enrico Spolare, 2001. "On the Evaluation of Economic Mobility," Working Papers 2001-25, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  10. Jose Cuesta & Hugo Ñopo & Georgina Pizzolitto, 2011. "Using Pseudo‐Panels To Measure Income Mobility In Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(2), pages 224-246, 06.
  11. Tom Krebs, 2005. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," 2005 Meeting Papers 188, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The POUM Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 6795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Francisca Antman & David J. McKenzie, 2007. "Earnings Mobility and Measurement Error: A Pseudo-Panel Approach," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 125-161.
  14. tom krebs, 2004. "welfare cost of business cycles when markets are incomplete," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 283, Econometric Society.
  15. Dang, Hai-Anh & Lanjouw, Peter & Luoto, Jill & McKenzie, David, 2014. "Using repeated cross-sections to explore movements into and out of poverty," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 112-128.
  16. Michael Baker & Gary Solon, 1998. "Earnings Dynamics and Inequality among Canadian Men, 1976-1992: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Records," Working Papers baker-98-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  17. Dardanoni Valentino, 1993. "Measuring Social Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 372-394, December.
  18. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "The Nature of Precautionary Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Cruces, Guillermo & Lanjouw, Peter & Lucchetti, Leonardo & Perova, Elizaveta & Vakis, Renos & Viollaz, Mariana, 2011. "Intra-generational mobility and repeated cross-sections : a three-country validation exercise," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5916, The World Bank.
  20. Chiara Binelli & Orazio Attanasio, 2010. "Mexico in the 1990s: the Main Cross-Sectional Facts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 238-264, January.
  21. Geweke, John & Marshall, Robert C & Zarkin, Gary A, 1986. "Mobility Indices in Continuous Time Markov Chains," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1407-23, November.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Much of observed income mobility is measurement error
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-03-20 14:19:00

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