IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Income Mobility – Curse or Blessing? Mobility in Social Security Earnings: Data on West-German Men since 1950

Listed author(s):
  • Uwe Fachinger
  • Ralf K. Himmelreicher

Descriptions and analyses of citizens' or households' income have a long tradition in economics. A large body of research has recognized that levels of income and how income is distributed are important contributors to the wealth of nations. Within the broader context of income and its distribution, there has also been a considerable amount of research on the process underlying income distribution that is, income mobility. The relevance of income mobility is manifold. First of all, mobility is an indicator for an open society providing economic opportunities for everyone. As people are normally risk averse, they are interested in a steady income stream. This can be called the security aspect. Another facet of income mobility is the incentive aspect. Upward mobility provides incentives for successful economic activity as it is possible to move up the income ladder. If upward mobility offers the “carrot”, downward mobility epitomizes the “stick” of economic activity. Downward mobility increases insecurity and insecurity is harmful to well-being. We use data covering the whole working lives of workers/employees to shed light on income mobility. This will result in more information about the adequacy of some assumptions of the life-cycle theory concerning the development of income over time – and especially on the inverse U-shape assumption of income profiles.

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:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers (2008 onwards); Pay-per-view access from (2000 onwards with 2 years moving wall) and (2008 onwards)

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Duncker & Humblot, Berlin in its journal Schmollers Jahrbuch.

Volume (Year): 132 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 175-203

in new window

Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v132_y2012_i2_q2_p175-203
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web: Email:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v132_y2012_i2_q2_p175-203. 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: (Gabriele Freudenmann)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.