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Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States

  • Aaberge, Rolf

    (Statistics Norway)

  • Björklund, Anders

    (Stockholm University)

  • Jäntti, Markus

    (Åbo Akademi University)

  • Palme, Mårten


    (Department of Economic Statistics)

  • Pedersen, Peder

    (Århus University)

  • Smith, Nina

    (Århus School of Business)

  • Wennemo, Tom

    (Statistics Norway)

This paper compares income inequality and income mobility in the Scandinavian countries and the United States during the 1980s. The results demonstrate that inequality is greater in the United states than in the Scandinavian countries and that the ranking of countries with respect to inequality remains unchanged when the accounting period of income is extended from one to 11 years. The pattern of mobility turns out to be remarkably similar despite major differences in labor market and social policies between the Scandinavian countries and the United States.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 98.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 1996
Date of revision: Aug 2002
Publication status: Forthcoming in Review of Income and Wealth.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0098
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
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  1. Anders Bjorklund & Richard B. Freeman, 1997. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty, the Swedish Way," NBER Chapters, in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 33-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
  3. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931, July.
  4. Gustafsson, Bjorn, 1994. "The Degree and Pattern of Income Immobility in Sweden," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(1), pages 67-86, March.
  5. Yaari, Menahem E., 1988. "A controversial proposal concerning inequality measurement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 381-397, April.
  6. Pederson, P. J. & Schmidt-Sorensen, J. B. & Smith, N. & Westergard-Nielsen, N., 1990. "Wage differentials between the public and private sectors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 125-145, February.
  7. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
  8. Shorrocks, Anthony, 1978. "Income inequality and income mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 376-393, December.
  9. Richard V. Burkhauser & John G. Poupore, 1997. "A Cross-National Comparison Of Permanent Inequality In The United States And Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 10-17, February.
  10. 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.
  11. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-56, December.
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