American baby-losers? Robust indirect comparison of affluence across generations
We propose an indirect and robust method to detect a change in the concentration of economic affluence defined as an aggregate measure of the command over lifetime resources when the full stream of income receipts along the life cycle is unknown and only consumption surveys are available. The method relies on a new stochastic ordering, the “Generalized Top Lorenz” and the key-property of concavity of consumption with respect to wealth. Our application on US data for the period 1980-2002 shows a moderate increase in economic affluence and points out the di¢ cult start in life of people belonging to the "Baby loser generation" (people born in the sixties).