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Income Mobility: The Recent American Experience

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Abstract

This paper examines the pattern of income mobility during the 1980s and the mid 1990s. It employs a panel of individual income tax returns for the years 1979 through 1995 to study this pattern, and explore whether income mobility has increased during the period. We focus on working age Americans, those age 30 and over in 1979, the first year of the panel, and up to age 61 in 1995, the last year of the panel. Consistent with other research, we find evidence of considerable mobility. For example, more than one-half of those in the bottom quintile move to a higher quintile over the period.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Carroll & David Joulfaian & Mark Rider, 2006. "Income Mobility: The Recent American Experience," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0620, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0620
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    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp0620.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
    2. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
    3. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
    4. Katharine L. Bradbury & Jane Katz, 2002. "Women's labor market involvement and family income mobility when marriages end," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Q 4, pages 41-74.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bradbury, Katharine L., 2016. "Levels and trends in the income mobility of U.S. families, 1977−2012," Working Papers 16-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    2. Katharine L. Bradbury, 2011. "Trends in U. S. family income mobility, 1969-2006," Working Papers 11-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2007. "Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937," NBER Working Papers 13345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Keywords

    Income Mobility; USA; Individual income tax;

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