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

The Inequality Process vs. The Saved Wealth Model. Two Particle Systems of Income Distribution; Which Does Better Empirically?

  • Angle, John

The Inequality Process (IP) is a stochastic particle system in which particles are randomly paired for wealth exchange. A coin toss determines which particle loses wealth to the other in a randomly paired encounter. The loser gives up a fixed share of its wealth, a positive quantity. That share is its parameter, ω_ψ, in the ψth equivalence class of particles. The IP was derived from verbal social science theory that designates the empirical referent of (1-ω_ψ) as worker productivity, operationalized as worker education. Consequently, the stationary distribution of wealth of the IP in which particles can have different values of ω (like workers with different educations) is obliged to fit the distribution of labor income conditioned on education. The hypothesis is that when a) the stationary distribution of wealth in the ψth equivalence class of particles is fitted to the distribution of labor income of workers at the ψth level of education, and b) the fraction of particles in the ψth equivalence class equals the fraction of workers at the ψth level of education, then c) the model's stationary distributions fit the corresponding empirical distributions, and d) estimated (1-ω_ψ) increases with level of education. The Saved Wealth Model (SW) was proposed as a modification of the particle system model of the Kinetic Theory of Gases (KTG). The SW is isomorphic to the IP up to the stochastic driver of wealth exchange between particles. The present paper shows that 1) the stationary distributions of both particle systems pass test c): they fit the distribution of U.S. annual wage and salary income conditioned on education over four decades, 2) the parameter estimates of the fits differ by particle system, 3) both particle systems pass test d), but 4) the IP's overall fits are better than the SW's because 5) the IP's stationary distribution conditioned on larger (1-ω_ψ) has a heavier tail than the SW's fitting the distribution of wage income of the more educated better, and 6) since the level of education in the U.S. labor force rose, the IP's fit advantage increased over time.

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://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/20835/1/MPRA_paper_20835.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20835.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 10 Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20835
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20835. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

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.