IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Lower and upper bounds of unfair inequality: Theory and evidence for Germany and the US

  • Judith Niehues

    (SOCLIFE, University of Cologne and IZA)

  • Andreas Peichl

    ()

    (IZA, University of Cologne (FiFo), ISER and CESifo)

Previous estimates of unfair inequality of opportunity (IOp) are only lower bounds because of the unobservability of the full set of endowed circumstances beyond the sphere of individual responsibility. In this paper, we suggest a new estimator based on a fixed effects panel model which additionally allows identifying an upper bound. We illustrate our approach by comparing Germany and the US based on harmonized micro data. We find significant and robust differences between lower and upper bound estimates – both for gross and net earnings based either on periodical or permanent income – for both countries. We discuss the cross-country differences and similarities in IOp in the light of differences in social mobility and persistence.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2011-216.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 216.

as
in new window

Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-216
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ecineq.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000306, www.najecon.org.
  2. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2010. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 103-132, January.
  3. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  4. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Hilmar Schneider, 2010. "Does Size Matter? The Impact of Changes in Household Structure on Income Distribution in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 280, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Lind, Jo Thori & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2011. "Measuring unfair (in)equality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 488-499, August.
  6. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "How progressive is the US federal tax system? A historical and international perspective," Post-Print halshs-00754244, HAL.
  7. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  8. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  9. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2008. "Intergenerational Top Income Mobility in Sweden – Capitalist Dynasties in the Land of Equal Opportunity?," Working Paper Series 775, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 27 Sep 2010.
  10. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & John Roemer, 2012. "Equality of opportunity and the distribution of long-run income in Sweden," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 675-696, July.
  11. John E. Roemer & Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino & Johan Fritzell & Stephen P. Jenkins & Ive Marx & Marianne Page & Evert Pommer & Javier Ruiz-Castillo & Maria Jesus San Segundo & Torben Tranæs & Gert G., . "To What Extent Do Fiscal Regimes Equalize Opportunities for Income Acquisition among Citizens?," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-10, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  12. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
  13. Dunnzlaff, Lina & Neumann, Dirk & Niehues, Judith & Peichl, Andreas, 2010. "Equality of Opportunity and Redistribution in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 5375, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. John E. Roemer, 2002. "Equality of opportunity: A progress report," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 455-471.
  15. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1999. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 504-533.
  16. Marc Fleurbaey & Vito Peragine, 2009. "Ex ante versus ex post equality of opportunity," Working Papers 141, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  17. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  18. Philippe Van Kerm, 2004. "What Lies Behind Income Mobility? Reranking and Distributional Change in Belgium, Western Germany and the USA," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(281), pages 223-239, 05.
  19. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality of opportunity in Brazil," Post-Print halshs-00754189, HAL.
  20. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2010. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," Working Papers 2011-020, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  21. Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo, 2009. "Accounting for Family Background when Designing Optimal Income Taxes: A Microeconometric Simulation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 4598, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Nicolas Pistolesi, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in the land of opportunities, 1968–2001," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-433, December.
  23. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2008. "Inequality Of Opportunities Vs. Inequality Of Outcomes: Are Western Societies All Alike?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 513-546, December.
  24. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-18, December.
  25. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
  26. Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2009. "Family background and income during the rise of the welfare state: Brother correlations in income for Swedish men born 1932-1968," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 671-680, June.
  27. Aaberge, Rolf & Mogstad, Magne & Peragine, Vito, 2011. "Measuring long-term inequality of opportunity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 193-204.
  28. Kurt Devooght, 2008. "To Each the Same and to Each his Own: A Proposal to Measure Responsibility-Sensitive Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 280-295, 05.
  29. Amitabh Chandra, 2000. "Labor-Market Dropouts and the Racial Wage Gap: 1940-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 333-338, May.
  30. Erwin Ooghe & Andreas Peichl, 2011. "Fair and Efficient Taxation under Partial Control: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 3518, CESifo Group Munich.
  31. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2010. "Fair and Unfair Income Inequalities in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 5025, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  32. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881.
  33. Lefranc, Arnaud & Pistolesi, Nicolas & Trannoy, Alain, 2009. "Equality of opportunity and luck: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1189-1207, December.
  34. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  35. Ok, Efe A. & Foster, James, 1997. "Lorenz Dominance and the Variance of Logarithms," Working Papers 97-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  36. Fleurbaey Marc, 1995. "Three Solutions for the Compensation Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 505-521, April.
  37. Blackburn, McKinley L., 2007. "Estimating wage differentials without logarithms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, January.
  38. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
  39. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  40. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1552 is not listed on IDEAS
  41. Dale T. Mortensen & Bent Jesper Christensen & Jesper Bagger, 2010. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion: Labor Quality or Rent Sharing?," 2010 Meeting Papers 758, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  42. Peichl, Andreas & Schneider, Hilmar & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2010. "Documentation IZAΨMOD: The IZA Policy SImulation MODel," IZA Discussion Papers 4865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. SOEP based publications

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-216. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maria Ana Lugo)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.