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On the magnitude of income mobility in Germany


  • Van Kerm, Philippe

    (CEPS/INSTEAD, Differdange, G.-D. Luxembourg)


This paper documents the magnitude of income mobility in Germany and its distribution across different income positions, using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. The suggested graphical approach makes it straightforward to identify the portions of the distribution that have the largest impact on aggregate indices a la Fields and Ok, and hence offers a starting point to help account for income mobility levels. It appears that most of the contribution to mobility is made by the poorest 10% of the initial distribution. Average relative income changes are much lower and generally constant for the rest of the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Van Kerm, Philippe, 2002. "On the magnitude of income mobility in Germany," IRISS Working Paper Series 2002-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2002-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard V. Burkhauser & John G. Poupore, 1997. "A Cross-National Comparison Of Permanent Inequality In The United States And Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 10-17, February.
    2. Canto, Olga, 2000. "Income Mobility in Spain: How Much Is There?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 85-102, March.
    3. Christian Schluter & Mark Trede, 2003. "Local versus Global Assessment of Mobility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1313-1335, November.
    4. Cowell, Frank & Schluter, Christian, 1998. "Measuring income mobility with dirty data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2079, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Mark Trede, 2001. "Comparing Income Mobility In Germany And The United States Using Generalized Entropy Mobility Measures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 551-559, August.
    6. Fields, Gary S. & Ok, Efe A., 1996. "The Meaning and Measurement of Income Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 349-377, November.
    7. C. Schluter & D. Van De Gaer, 2003. "Mobility as distributional difference," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/182, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    8. Fields, Gary S & Ok, Efe A, 1999. "Measuring Movement of Incomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(264), pages 455-471, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella & Claudia Vittori, 2012. "Earnings Mobility and Inequality: An Integrated Framework," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/295, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

    More about this item


    Income mobility ; Non-parametric regression;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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