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Older or wealthier? The impact of age adjustments on the wealth inequality ranking of countries

Author

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  • Ingvild Almås

    () (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Magne Mogstady

    () (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

Differences in individual wealth holdings are widely viewed as a driving force of economic inequality. However, as this finding relies on cross-section data, we may confuse older with wealthier. We propose a new method to adjust for age effects in cross-sections, which eliminates transitory wealth inequality due to age, yet preserves inequality arising from other factors. This new method is superior to existing methods, like the much used Paglin-Gini, which is shown to have several problems. A new cross-country comparable database reveals that the choice of method is empirically important: Existing methods yield erroneous wealth inequality rankings of countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingvild Almås & Magne Mogstady, 2009. "Older or wealthier? The impact of age adjustments on the wealth inequality ranking of countries," Working Papers 113, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-113
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2009-113.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Ingvild Almås & Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2010. "Baby Booming Inequality? Demographic Change and Earnings Inequality in Norway, 1967-2000," CESifo Working Paper Series 3200, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Ingvild Almås & Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "Baby booming inequality? Demographic change and earnings inequality in Norway, 1967–2000," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(4), pages 629-650, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wealth inequality; Life cycle; Age adjustments; Gini coeffcient.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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