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From Earnings Inequality to Consumption Inequality

  • Orazio Attanasio

    (Universita degli Studi di Trento)

  • Gabriella Berloffa

    (Universita degli Studi di Trento)

  • Richard Blundell

    (University College London and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Ian Preston

    (University College London and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

This paper studies the paths from inequality in earnings to inequality in household consumption. We show that careful study of the evolution of the variances and covariances of earnings and consumption within cohorts across time can identify permanent and transitory shocks. We present an application to the evolution of inequality in the United Kingdom. We extend previous results to recognise separate earnings of partners in couples. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2002.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 112 (2002)
Issue (Month): 478 (March)
Pages: C52-C59

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:478:p:c52-c59
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  1. John Y. Campbell, 1992. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Without Consumption Data," NBER Working Papers 3989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1997. "Consumption, inequality and income uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W97/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Orazio Attanasio & Gabriella Berloffa & Richard Blundell & Stephen Redding, 2002. "From wages to consumption inequality: tracking shocks," IFS Working Papers W02/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  5. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
  6. Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-62, December.
  7. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  8. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1993. "Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-38, February.
  9. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  10. Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "Wage Mobility in the United States," NBER Working Papers 5455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
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