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Individual Earnings and Family Income: Dynamics and Distribution

Author

Listed:
  • Joseph Altonji

    (Yale University)

  • Disa Hynsjo

    (Yale University)

  • Ivan Vidangos

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

We review research on the dynamics and distribution of individual earnings and family income. We start with univariate earnings models, which dominate the literature and are often used as the exogenous component of family income in structural models of saving. We present a version of the linear model that nests most of the specifications that have been used in the literature, and then discuss recent papers that stress nonnormal shocks, nonlinear and age-dependent processes, and heterogeneous model parameters. The recent work provides a much richer description of the nature of earnings volatility than the basic model. We then turn to models of individual earnings that are based on wages, employment, job mobility, and hours. These multivariate models permit measuring the sources of permanent differences in earnings and distinguishing among shocks that influence earnings through employment, job mobility, general productivity, or hours. Finally, we consider models of lifetime family income that integrate individual earnings, marriage (accounting for marital sorting), and earnings of a spouse (if present). We conclude by discussing directions for future work. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Altonji & Disa Hynsjo & Ivan Vidangos, . "Individual Earnings and Family Income: Dynamics and Distribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:21-185
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2022.08.005
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    univariate and multivariate models of earnings and family income dynamics; sources of income dynamics and inequality; marriage rates; sorting; and income dynamics and inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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