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Measuring Movement of Incomes


  • Fields, Gary S
  • Ok, Efe A


We consider a small set of elementary properties for income movement measures, and show that there is essentially only one measure that satisfies all of these properties: the per capita aggregate change in log-incomes. We demonstrate next that this movement-mobility measure has a number of appealing descriptive and normative properties, and provide a formal generalization of our basic characterization theorem drawing from the related literature on poverty measurement. Finally, we present here an empirical application in which we show by using our new measure that there has been a broad-based increase in income movement in the United States between the 1970s and 1980s. Copyright 1999 by The London School of Economics and Political Science

Suggested Citation

  • Fields, Gary S & Ok, Efe A, 1999. "Measuring Movement of Incomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(264), pages 455-471, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:66:y:1999:i:264:p:455-71

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-397, July.
    2. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    3. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 93-124, March.
    4. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-867, June.
    5. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
    6. Bourguignon, Francois, 1981. "Pareto Superiority of Unegalitarian Equilibria in Stiglitz' Model of Wealth Distribution with Convex Saving Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1469-1475, November.
    7. Durlauf, Steven N, 1996. "A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 75-93, March.
    8. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-429, June.
    9. Masao Ogaki & Andrew Atkeson, 1997. "Rate Of Time Preference, Intertemporal Elasticity Of Substitution, And Level Of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 564-572, November.
    10. Thomas Piketty, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 173-189.
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