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How the Distribution of After-Tax Income Changed Over the 1990s Business Cycle: A Comparison of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan

  • Richard V. Burkhauser

    ()

    (Cornell University)

  • Takashi Oshio

    (Kobe University)

  • Ludmila Rovba

    (Analysis Group, Inc.)

Using kernel density estimation we find that over the 1990s business cycles in the United States and Great Britain the entire distribution of after-tax (disposable) income moved to the right while inequality declined. In contrast, Germany and Japan experienced less growth, a rise in inequality, and a decline in the middle mass of their distributions, that spread mostly to the right, much like in the United States over its 1980s business cycle. Inequality fell within the older populations of all four countries; inequality also fell within the younger populations of the United States and Great Britain, but it rose substantially in Germany and Japan.

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Article provided by Journal of Income Distribution in its journal Journal of Income Distribution.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 87-109

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Handle: RePEc:jid:journl:y:2008:v:17:i:1:p:87-109
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  1. Richard V. Burkhauser & Ludmila Rovba, 2006. "Income Inequality in the 1990s: Comparing the United States, Great Britain and Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 576, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Merz, Joachim, 1994. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," MPRA Paper 7229, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Bach, Stefan & Corneo, Giacomo & Steiner, Viktor, 2007. "From Bottom to Top: The Entire Distribution of Market Income in Germany, 1992-2001," CEPR Discussion Papers 6251, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Michael Förster & Mark Pearson, 2002. "Income Distribution and Poverty in the OECD Area: Trends and Driving Forces," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2002(1), pages 7-38.
  5. Lynn Karoly & Gary Burtless, 1995. "Demographic change, rising earnings inequality, and the distribution of personal well-being, 1959–1989," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 379-405, August.
  6. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2007. "Using the P90/P10 Index to Measure US Inequality Trends with Current Population Survey Data: A View from Inside the Census Bureau Vaults," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 699, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Biewen, Martin, 2000. "Income Inequality in Germany during the 1980s and 1990s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 1-19, March.
  8. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kenneth A. Couch & Andrew Houtenville & Ludmila Rovba, 2004. "Income Inequality in the 1990s: Re-Forging a Lost Relationship?," Working papers 2004-11, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  9. Kenneth A. Couch & Mary C. Daly, 2004. "The Improving Relative Status of Black Men," Working papers 2004-12, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  10. Toshiaki Tachibanaki, 2005. "Confronting Income Inequality in Japan: A Comparative Analysis of Causes, Consequences, and Reform," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262201585, June.
  11. 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 253-72, May-June.
  12. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
  13. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J. S. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Houtenville, Andrew J., 2004. "Long term trends in earnings inequality: what the CPS can tell us," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 295-299, February.
  14. Feng, Shuaizhang & Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J.S., 2006. "Levels and Long-Term Trends in Earnings Inequality: Overcoming Current Population Survey Censoring Problems Using the GB2 Distribution," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 57-62, January.
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