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Mobility of top incomes in Germany

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  • Jenderny, Katharina
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    Abstract

    Mobility of top incomes matters for both the openness of the income elite and the share of total income that this group receives. It is thus an important complement information to the growing snapshot literature on top income concentration. I use microlevel panel data of German income tax files that is highly representative for top income households. Top income mobility is assessed in four dimensions: (i) its stability over time, (ii) the degree of mobility between top income fractiles, (iii) the degree of mobility between equally sized groups and mobility in ranks, both of which do not depend on fractile sizes, and (iv) mobility's impact on distributional results. Mobility in terms of annual fractile changes is high between the richest top income fractiles, which is primarily due to tiny fractile sizes. When the fractiles' sizes are controlled for, top income recipients' mobility is lower than that of lower income tax units. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2013/7.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:20137

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    Keywords: income distribution; inequality; top incomes;

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    1. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," NBER Working Papers 15408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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    4. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2008. "Intergenerational Top Income Mobility in Sweden – Capitalist Dynasties in the Land of Equal Opportunity?," Working Paper Series 775, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 27 Sep 2010.
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    7. Corneo, Giacomo, 2005. "Media capture in a democracy: the role of wealth concentration," Discussion Papers 2005/1, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
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    11. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    12. Martin Biewen & Andos Juhasz, 2012. "Understanding Rising Income Inequality in Germany, 1999/2000–2005/2006," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(4), pages 622-647, December.
    13. Fabien Dell, 2005. "Top Incomes in Germany and Switzerland Over the Twentieth Century," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 412-421, 04/05.
    14. A. B. Atkinson & S. Voitchovsky, 2011. "The Distribution of Top Earnings in the UK since the Second World War," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(311), pages 440-459, 07.
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