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Inequality Comparisons in a Multi-Period Framework: The Role of Alternative Welfare Metrics

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  • John Creedy
  • Elin Halvorsen
  • Thor O. Thoresen

Abstract

This paper considers the use of alternative welfare metrics in evaluations of income inequality in a multi-period context. Using Norwegian longitudinal income data, it is found, as in many studies, that inequality is lower when each individual’s annual average income is used as welfare metric, compared with the use of a single-period accounting framework. However, this result does not necessarily hold when aversion to income fluctuations is introduced. Furthermore, when actual incomes are replaced by expected incomes (conditional on an initial period),using a model of income dynamics, higher values of inequality over longer periods are typically found, although comparisons depend on inequality and variability aversion parameters. The results are strongly influenced by the observed high degree of systematic regression towards the (geometric) mean, combined with a large extent of individual unexpected effects.

Suggested Citation

  • John Creedy & Elin Halvorsen & Thor O. Thoresen, 2011. "Inequality Comparisons in a Multi-Period Framework: The Role of Alternative Welfare Metrics," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1127, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1127
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Markus Jäntti & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2013. "Income Mobility," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 607, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Elin Halvorsen & Thor Olav Thoresen, 2017. "Distributional Effects of the Wealth Tax under a Lifetime-Dynastic Income Concept," CESifo Working Paper Series 6614, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Michael Savage, 2016. "Poorest Made Poorer? Decomposing income losses at the bottom of the income distribution during the Great Recession," Papers WP528, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income mobility; welfare evaluations; relative mobility process;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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