IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayasri Dutta & J. A. Sefton & M. R. WEALE, 2001. "Income distribution and income dynamics in the United Kingdom," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 599-617.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:16:y:2001:i:5:p:599-617

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Supporting data files and programs
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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 189-196, April-Jun.
    2. 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.
    3. McDonald, James B & Mantrala, Anand, 1995. "The Distribution of Personal Income: Revisited," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 201-204, April-Jun.
    4. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Tan Kuan Lu, Clifford, 2013. "Do university rankings matter for growth?," MPRA Paper 52705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dr Richard Dorsett & Dr Silvia Lui & Dr Martin Weale, 2010. "Economic Benefits of Lifelong Learning," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 352, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    3. Mok, Penny & Mason, Geoff & Stevens, Philip & Timmins, Jason, 2012. "A Good Worker is Hard to Find: Skills Shortages in New Zealand Firms," Occasional Papers 12/5, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
    4. Otto Toivanen & Lotta Väänänen, 2016. "Education and Invention," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 382-396, May.
    5. Sebastian Barnes & Gregory Thwaites, 2005. "'Real-world' mortgages, consumption volatility and the low inflation environment," Bank of England working papers 273, Bank of England.
    6. Richard Dorsett & Silvia Lui & Martin Weale, 2016. "The effect of lifelong learning on men’s wages," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 737-762, September.
    7. Milenko Popovic, 2006. "Capital Augmenting And Labor Augmenting Approach In Measuring Contribution Of Human Capital And Education To Economic Growth," Montenegrin Journal of Economics, Economic Laboratory for Transition Research (ELIT), vol. 2(4), pages 71-108.
    8. Legrand D. F. Saint-Cyr & Laurent Piet, 2017. "Movers and stayers in the farming sector: accounting for unobserved heterogeneity in structural change," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 66(4), pages 777-795, August.
    9. Tan Kuan Lu, Clifford, 2014. "University Rankings Game and its relation to GDP per capita and GDP growth," MPRA Paper 53933, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Donata Favaro & Eniel Ninka & Margherita Turvani, 2011. "Human capital, technology intensity and growth in a regional context," ERSA conference papers ersa10p687, European Regional Science Association.
    11. Milenko Popovic, 2007. "Rising Wage Inequality, Rate Of Return On Investment In Education, And Cost Of Education," Montenegrin Journal of Economics, Economic Laboratory for Transition Research (ELIT), vol. 3(5), pages 35-58.
    12. Miles, David K & Sefton, James, 2002. "Optimal Social Security Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3290, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Laurent, Piet & Legrand D.F. Saint-Cyr, 2016. "Projection de la population des exploitations agricoles françaises à l’horizon 2025," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 16-11, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    14. Loredana-Ioana Pribac, 2011. "Education – A Factor In The Eu Economic Growth," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 4, pages 171-176, December.
    15. Simeonova-Ganeva, Ralitsa, 2006. "Влияние На Човешкия Капитал Върху Икономическия Растеж (България, 1949-2005 Г.)
      [The Impact of Human Capital on the Economic Growth (Bulgaria, 1949-2005)]
      ," MPRA Paper 37244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Tan, Clifford, 2013. "The contribution of university rankings to country's GDP per capita," MPRA Paper 53900, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Nil Demet GUNGOR, 2010. "Education, Human Capital Inequality And Economic Growth: Evidence From Turkey," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 10(2).
    18. Gustavo De Santis & Giambattista Salinari, 2008. "On the Evolution of Household Income," LIS Working papers 488, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    19. Saint-Cyr, Legrand D. F., 2016. "Accounting for farm heterogeneity in the assessment of agricultural policy impacts on structural change," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235778, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:16:y:2001:i:5:p:599-617. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.