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Testing the Significance of Income Distribution Changes over the 1980s Business Cycle: A Cross-National Comparison


  • Burkhauser, Richard V, et al


Using kernel density estimation we describe the distribution of household size-adjusted real income and how it changed over the business cycle of the 1980s in the United States and the United Kingdom. We confirm previous studies that show income inequality increased in the two countries and the middle of the distribution was squashed down. Using a series of statistical tests, however, we find that while the mass in both tails of the distribution increased significantly in both countries over the period, by far the greatest gains were in the upper tail.

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  • Burkhauser, Richard V, et al, 1999. "Testing the Significance of Income Distribution Changes over the 1980s Business Cycle: A Cross-National Comparison," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 253-272, May-June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:14:y:1999:i:3:p:253-72

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John Angle, 2007. "The Macro Model of the Inequality Process and The Surging Relative Frequency of Large Wage Incomes," Papers 0705.3430,
    2. Vivek Dehejia & Marcel Voia, 2008. "International Income Comparisons and Location Choice: Methodology, Analysis, and Implications," Carleton Economic Papers 08-02, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    3. Onji, Kazuki, 2009. "The response of firms to eligibility thresholds: Evidence from the Japanese value-added tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 766-775, June.
    4. Timothy Smeeding & Andrea Brandolini & Anthony Atkinson, 2001. "Producing Time Series Data for Income Distribution: Sources, Methods and Techniques," LIS Working papers 295, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    5. Robert Aebi & Klaus Neusser & Peter Steiner, 2008. "Improving Models of Income Dynamics using Cross-Section-Information," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(II), pages 117-151, June.
    6. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Jeff Larrimore & Joyce Kwok, 2008. "The Transformation in Who is Expected to Work in the United States and How it Changed the Lives of Single Mothers and People with Disabilities," Working Papers wp187, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    7. Maximo Camacho & Aida Galiano, 2009. "Income distribution changes across the 1990s expansion: the role of taxes and transfers," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 3177-3185.
    8. Walter Sosa-Escudero & Sergio Petralia, 2011. "Anatomy of Distributive Changes in Argentina," Chapters,in: The Economies of Argentina and Brazil, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Richard V. Burkhauser & Takashi Oshio & Ludmila Rovba, 2008. "How the Distribution of After-Tax Income Changed Over the 1990s Business Cycle: A Comparison of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 17(1), pages 87-109, March.
    10. Mary C. Daly & Robert G. Valletta, 2000. "Inequality and poverty in the United States: the effects of changing family behavior and rising wage dispersion," Working Paper Series 2000-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    11. Longford, N.T. & Pittau, M.G., 2006. "Stability of household income in European countries in the 1990s," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 1364-1383, November.
    12. repec:spr:stmapp:v:10:y:2001:i:1:d:10.1007_bf02511647 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Bartkowska, Monika & Riedl, Aleksandra, 2012. "Regional convergence clubs in Europe: Identification and conditioning factors," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 22-31.
    14. Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2011. "On the identification of the “middle class”," Working Papers 217, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    15. Dehejia Vivek H. & Voia Marcel C., 2012. "International Income Comparisons and Social Welfare: Methodology, Analysis, and Implications," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, June.
    16. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Andrew J. Houtenville & Nigar Nargis, 2001. "Economic outcomes of working-age people with disabilities over the business cycle: an examination of the 1980s and 1990s," Working Paper Series 2001-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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