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Income distribution and income dynamics in the United Kingdom

  • Jayasri Dutta

    (Faculty of Economics and Politics, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DD, UK)

  • J. A. Sefton

    (National Institute of Economic and Social Research, 2 Dean Trench Street, London SW1P 3HE, UK)

  • M. R. WEALE

    (National Institute of Economic and Social Research, 2 Dean Trench Street, London SW1P 3HE, UK)

In this paper, we propose a model of income dynamics which takes account of mobility both within and between jobs. The model is a hybrid of the mover-stayer model of income dynamics and a geometric random walk. In any period, individuals face a discrete probability of 'moving', in which case their income is a random drawn from a stationary recurrent distribution. Otherwise, they 'stay' and incomes follow a geometric random walk. The model is estimated on income transition data for the United Kingdom from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and provides a good explanation of observed non-linearities in income dynamics. The steady-state distribution of the model provides a good fit for the observed, cross-sectional distribution of earnings. We also evaluate the impact of tertiary education on income transitions and on the long-run distribution of incomes. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 599-617

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:16:y:2001:i:5:p:599-617
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  1. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. McDonald, James B & Mantrala, Anand, 1995. "The Distribution of Personal Income: Revisited," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 201-04, April-Jun.
  3. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
  4. Majumder, Amita & Chakravarty, Satya Ranjan, 1990. "Distribution of Personal Income: Development of a New Model and Its Application to U.S. Income Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 189-96, April-Jun.
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