IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tin/wpaper/20120004.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who is at the Top? Wealth Mobility over the Life Cycle

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Hochguertel

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Henry Ohlsson

    (Uppsala University)

Abstract

Who is wealthy? This paper presents empirical estimates of household movements into and out of the top percents of the wealth distribution over individual life cycles. There are life-cycle motives and precautionary motives for wealth accumulation. The opportunities to accumulate wealth create incentives for education, work effort, and entrepreneurship. We would expect considerable wealth mobility over the life cycle if the life-cycle motives and incentives to accumulate are strong and affect behavior. The data are from an administrative Swedish source that retains wealth information from tax registers. The data are unique, they follow a large sample of households over almost 40 years. There is substantial mobility when we follow individual households over long enough time spans. We find that wealth mobility increased until the end of the 1980s and then started to decrease. Age-wealth probability profiles are consistent with life-cycle motives for wealth ac cumulation. There are also limited precautionary motives for wealth accumulation when households experience income uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Hochguertel & Henry Ohlsson, 2012. "Who is at the Top? Wealth Mobility over the Life Cycle," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-004/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20120004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://papers.tinbergen.nl/12004.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Orazio P. Attanasio & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Differential Mortality and Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-29.
    2. Håkan Selin, 2009. "The Rise in Female Employment and the Role of Tax Incentives - An Empirical Analysis of the Swedish Individual Tax Reform of 1971," CESifo Working Paper Series 2629, CESifo.
    3. Anders Klevmarken, & Joseph P. Lupton & Frank P. Stafford, 2003. "Wealth Dynamics in the 1980s and 1990s: Sweden and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
    4. DAVIES, JAMES B & Shorrocks, Anthony & Sandstrom, Susanna & WOLFF, EDWARD N, 2007. "The World Distribution of Household Wealth," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt3jv048hx, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    5. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
    6. Nancy A. Jianakoplos & Paul L. Menchik, 1997. "Wealth Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 18-31, February.
    7. Shorrocks, A F, 1975. "The Age-Wealth Relationship: A Cross-Section and Cohort Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 155-163, May.
    8. Richard H. Steckel & Jayanthi Krishnan, 2006. "THE WEALTH MOBILITY OF MEN AND WOMEN DURING THE 1960s AND 1970s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(2), pages 189-212, June.
    9. Jesper Roine & Daniel Waldenström, 2009. "Wealth Concentration over the Path of Development: Sweden, 1873–2006," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 151-187, March.
    10. Klevmarken, A. & Lupton, J. & Stafford, F., 2000. "Wealth Dynamics in the 1980' and 1990's: Sweden and the U.S," Papers 2000-18, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    11. Hochguertel, Stefan & Ohlsson, Henry, 2011. "Wealth mobility and dynamics over entire individual working life cycles," Working Paper Series 1301, European Central Bank.
    12. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    13. Thomas Piketty & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2006. "Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy: Paris and France, 1807–1994," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 236-256, March.
    14. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2000. "The dynamics of household wealth accumulation in Italy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 269-295, June.
    15. Henry Ohlsson & Jesper Roine & Daniel Waldenstrom, 2006. "Long-Run Changes in the Concentration of Wealth: An Overview of Recent Findings," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-103, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000:19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    17. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675, Elsevier.
    18. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2004. "Do the Rich Save More?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 397-444, April.
    19. William Greene, 2004. "The behaviour of the maximum likelihood estimator of limited dependent variable models in the presence of fixed effects," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 98-119, June.
    20. Kopczuk, Wojciech & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Top Wealth Shares in the United States, 1916-2000: Evidence From Estate Tax Returns," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 57(2), pages 445-487, June.
    21. N. Anders Klevmarken, 2004. "On The Wealth Dynamics Of Swedish Families, 1984–98," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(4), pages 469-491, December.
    22. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
    23. Shorrocks, Anthony, 1978. "Income inequality and income mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 376-393, December.
    24. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-1024, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gunnar Rietz & Magnus Henrekson & Daniel Waldenström, 2015. "Swedish Inheritance and Gift Taxation (1885–2004)," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Magnus Henrekson & Mikael Stenkula (ed.), Swedish Taxation, chapter 0, pages 223-265, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Ohlsson, Henry & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2014. "Inherited wealth over the path of development: Sweden, 1810–2010," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2014:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    3. Henrekson Magnus & Rietz Gunnar Du, 2014. "The Rise and Fall of Swedish Wealth Taxation," Nordic Tax Journal, Sciendo, vol. 2014(1), pages 9-35, May.
    4. Jean-Brieux Delbos, 2016. "Once in the Elite, Always in the Elite? Changing Wealth in a Changing City (Paris, France, 1845-1859)," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 126(5), pages 683-719.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Stefan Hochguertel & Henry Ohlsson, 2011. "Wealth mobility and dynamics over entire individual working life cycles," BCL working papers 56, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    2. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2016. "Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France (1800-2014)," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-02794339, HAL.
    3. Elinder, Mikael & Erixson, Oscar & Waldenström, Daniel, 2018. "Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 17-30.
    4. Jesper Roine & Daniel Waldenström, 2009. "Wealth Concentration over the Path of Development: Sweden, 1873–2006," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 151-187, March.
    5. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2021. "Accounting for Wealth-Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates, and Simulations for France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 620-663.
    6. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2005. "Differential mortality, uncertain medical expenses, and the saving of elderly singles," Working Paper Series WP-05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. James B. Davies & Susanna Sandström & Anthony Shorrocks & Edward N. Wolff, 2011. "The Level and Distribution of Global Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 223-254, March.
    8. Anthony Barnes Atkinson, 2006. "Concentration among the Rich," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-151, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Henry Ohlsson & Jesper Roine & Daniel Waldenstrom, 2006. "Long-Run Changes in the Concentration of Wealth: An Overview of Recent Findings," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-103, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. John D. Turner, 2010. "Wealth concentration in the European periphery: Ireland, 1858--2001," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 625-646, October.
    11. Cagetti, Marco & De Nardi, Mariacristina, 2008. "Wealth Inequality: Data And Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 285-313, September.
    12. Mauro Baranzini, 2005. "Modigliani's life-cycle theory of savings fifty years later," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 58(233-234), pages 109-172.
    13. Mauro Baranzini, 2005. "Modigliani's life-cycle theory of savings fifty years later," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 58(233-234), pages 109-172.
    14. Fochesato, Mattia & Bowles, Samuel, 2015. "Nordic exceptionalism? Social democratic egalitarianism in world-historic perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 30-44.
    15. Frank A. Cowell & Philippe Kerm, 2015. "Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 671-710, September.
    16. José Mª Durán Cabré & Alejandro Esteller Moré, 2007. "An empirical analysis of wealth taxation: Equity Vs.tax compliance," Working Papers XREAP2007-03, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jun 2007.
    17. Fiaschi, Davide & Marsili, Matteo, 2012. "Distribution of wealth and incomplete markets: Theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 243-267.
    18. Hasan, Iftekhar & Horvath, Roman & Mares, Jan, 2020. "Finance and wealth inequality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    19. Hugh Rockoff, 2008. "Great Fortunes of the Gilded Age," NBER Working Papers 14555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Thomas Piketty, 2011. "On the Long-Run Evolution of Inheritance: France 1820--2050," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1071-1131.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intragenerational wealth mobility; wealth durations; life-cycle motives; precautionary motives; panel data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20120004. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/tinbenl.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Tinbergen Office +31 (0)10-4088900 (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/tinbenl.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.