A Comparison between Actual Distributions of Annual and Lifetime Income: Sweden 1951-89
This paper uses register data on tax assessed income from 1951 to 1989 for a representative sample of Swedish men in order to compare the distributions of annual income and 'lifetime' income. It is found that the dispersion of lifetime income is around 35 to 40 percent lower than typical cross-sections of annual income. It is income up to around 30 years of age that mainly explains this discrepancy in the magnitude of dispersions. From the age of 30 until 65 years the correlations between annual and lifetime income are quite high and the dispersion of annual income is not very much higher than the dispersion of lifetime income. An analysis of the evolution of income mobility shows that there is a slight tendency to rising mobility over time. This finding implies that the common approach to study the development of income distribution by using only annual income can be misleading. Copyright 1993 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.
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Volume (Year): 39 (1993)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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