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The Impact of Household Capital Income on Income Inequality: A Factor Decomposition Analysis for Great Britain, Germany and the USA

Author

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  • Anna Fräßdorf
  • Markus M. Grabka
  • Johannes Schwarze

Abstract

This paper analyses the contribution of capital income to income inequality in a cross-national comparison. Using micro-data from the Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF) for three prominent panel studies, namely the BHPS for Great Britain, the SOEP for West Germany, and the PSID for the USA, a factor decomposition method described by Shorrocks (1982) is applied. The factor decomposition of disposable income into single income components shows that capital income is exceedingly volatile and its share in disposable income has risen in recent years. Moreover, capital income makes a disproportionately high contribution to overall inequality in relation to its share in disposable income. This applies to Germany and the USA in particular. Thus capital income accounts for a large part of disparity in all three countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Fräßdorf & Markus M. Grabka & Johannes Schwarze, 2008. "The Impact of Household Capital Income on Income Inequality: A Factor Decomposition Analysis for Great Britain, Germany and the USA," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 104, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp104
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M., 2009. "Accounting for Imputed and Capital Income Flows in Income Inequality Analyses," IZA Discussion Papers 4634, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Fuest, Clemens & Niehues, Judith & Peichl, Andreas, 2009. "The Redistributive Effects of Tax Benefit Systems in the Enlarged EU," IZA Discussion Papers 4520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Kai Daniel Schmid & Ulrike Stein, 2013. "Explaining Rising Income Inequality in Germany, 1991-2010," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 592, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; capital income; factor decomposition; CNEF;

    JEL classification:

    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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