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Labor income dynamics and the insurance from taxes, transfers and the family

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Blundell

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL)

  • Michael Graber

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Magne Mogstad

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Chicago)

Abstract

What do labor income dynamics look like over the life-cycle? What is the relative importance of persistent shocks, transitory shocks and heterogeneous profi les? To what extent do taxes, transfers and the family attenuate these various factors in the evolution of life-cycle inequality? In this paper, we use rich Norwegian data to answer these important questions. We let individuals with di fferent education levels have a separate income process; and within each skill group, we allow for non-stationarity in age and time, heterogeneous experience profi les, and shocks of varying persistence. We find that the income processes diff er systematically by age, skill level and their interaction. To accurately describe labor income dynamics over the life-cycle, it is necessary to allow for heterogeneity by education levels and account for non-stationarity in age and time. Our findings suggest that the progressive nature of the Norwegian tax-transfer system plays a key role in attenuating the magnitude and persistence of income shocks, especially among the low skilled. By comparison, spouse's income matters less for the dynamics of inequality over the life-cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Blundell & Michael Graber & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "Labor income dynamics and the insurance from taxes, transfers and the family," IFS Working Papers W14/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:14/01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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