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Who is at the top? Wealth mobility over the life cycle

  • Hochguertel, Stefan

    ()

    (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

  • Ohlsson, Henry

    ()

    (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

Who is wealthy? This paper presents empirical estimates of household movements into and out of the top percents of the wealth distribution over individual life cycles. There are life-cycle motives and precautionary motives for wealth accumulation. The opportunities to accumulate wealth create incentives for education, work effort, and entrepreneurship. We would expect considerable wealth mobility over the life cycle if the life-cycle motives and incentives to accumulate are strong and affect behavior. The data are from an administrative Swedish source that retains wealth information from tax registers. The data are unique, they follow a large sample of households over almost 40 years. There is substantial mobility when we follow individual households over long enough time spans. We find that wealth mobility increased until the end of the 1980s and then started to decrease. Age-wealth probability profiles are consistent with life-cycle motives for wealth accumulation. There are also limited precautionary motives for wealth accumulation when households experience income uncertainty.

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File URL: http://ucfs.nek.uu.se/digitalAssets/129/129536_wp20121.pdf
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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies with number 2012:1.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2012_001
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. N. Anders Klevmarken, 2004. "On The Wealth Dynamics Of Swedish Families, 1984-98," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(4), pages 469-491, December.
  2. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 1999. "The Dynamics of Household Wealth Accumulation in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 27, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 01 Dec 2000.
  3. William Greene, 2004. "The behaviour of the maximum likelihood estimator of limited dependent variable models in the presence of fixed effects," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 98-119, 06.
  4. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2000. "Do the rich save more?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. DAVIES, JAMES B & Shorrocks, Anthony & Sandstrom, Susanna & WOLFF, EDWARD N, 2007. "The World Distribution of Household Wealth," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt3jv048hx, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  6. Vincenzo Quadrini, 1997. "Entrepreneurship, saving and social mobility," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 116, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Stefan Hochguertel & Henry Ohlsson, 2011. "Wealth mobility and dynamics over entire individual working life cycles," BCL working papers 56, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
  8. Orazio P. Attanasio & Hilary W. Hoynes, 1995. "Differential Mortality and Wealth Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 5126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Håkan Selin, 2009. "The Rise in Female Employment and the Role of Tax Incentives - An Empirical Analysis of the Swedish Individual Tax Reform of 1971," CESifo Working Paper Series 2629, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Ohlsson, Henry & Roine, Jesper & Waldenstrom, Daniel, 2006. "Long-Run Changes in the Concentration of Wealth: An Overview of Recent Findings," Working Paper Series RP2006/103, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  11. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-24, September.
  12. Klevmarken, Anders & Lupton, Joseph & Stafford, Frank, 2000. "Wealth Dynamics in the 1980’s and 1990’s: Sweden and the U.S," Working Paper Series 2000:18, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  13. Kopczuk, Wojciech & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Top Wealth Shares in the United States, 1916-2000: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 445-87, June.
  14. Jesper Roine & Daniel Waldenström, 2009. "Wealth Concentration over the Path of Development: Sweden, 1873-2006," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 151-187, 03.
  15. Thomas Piketty & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2006. "Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy: Paris and France, 1807–1994," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 236-256, March.
  16. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675 Elsevier.
  17. Shorrocks, Anthony, 1978. "Income inequality and income mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 376-393, December.
  18. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
  19. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Working Paper Series 2000:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  20. Anders Klevmarken, & Joseph P. Lupton & Frank P. Stafford, 2003. "Wealth Dynamics in the 1980s and 1990s: Sweden and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  21. Shorrocks, A F, 1975. "The Age-Wealth Relationship: A Cross-Section and Cohort Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 155-63, May.
  22. Richard H. Steckel & Jayanthi Krishnan, 2006. "THE WEALTH MOBILITY OF MEN AND WOMEN DURING THE 1960s AND 1970s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(2), pages 189-212, 06.
  23. Nancy A. Jianakoplos & Paul L. Menchik, 1997. "Wealth Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 18-31, February.
  24. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
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