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Incomes and inequality in the long run: the case of German elderly

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  • Bönke, Timm
  • Schröder, Carsten
  • Schulte, Katharina

Abstract

We employ German Sample Survey Income data to examine income inequality and the financial situation of elderly citizens for the period from 1978 to 2003, focussing on differences between retired and non-retired elderly and between elderly with residence in the Old and the New German Laender. Inter-temporal changes in income inequality are also decomposed by income sources. To our knowledge, this is the first study that provides comparable and detailed longitudinal income statistics for the German elderly. We find some remarkable inter-temporal patterns. First, the financial situation of the elderly has improved substantially over time. This is true especially for the New Laender, although elderly with residence in the Old Laender remain financially privileged. Within the same age cohort, we also find that non-retired, on average, are financially better-off compared to retired elderly. For reunified Germany, inequality is astonishingly stable over time, but rises significantly since 1993 in the New German Laender.

Suggested Citation

  • Bönke, Timm & Schröder, Carsten & Schulte, Katharina, 2008. "Incomes and inequality in the long run: the case of German elderly," Discussion Papers 2008/4, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:20084
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Mussini, 2017. "Decomposing Changes in Inequality and Welfare Between EU Regions: The Roles of Population Change, Re-Ranking and Income Growth," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 455-478, January.
    2. Bönke Timm & Schröder Carsten, 2011. "Poverty in Germany – Statistical Inference and Decomposition," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(2), pages 178-209, April.
    3. repec:eee:labeco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:25-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Timm Bönke & Carsten Schröder & Clive Werdt, 2013. "Compiling a harmonized database from Germany’s 1978 to 2003 sample surveys of income and expenditure," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 7(3), pages 135-168, December.
    5. Corneo Giacomo, 2015. "Kreuz und quer durch die deutsche Einkommensverteilung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 109-126, June.
    6. Bönke, Timm & Kemptner, Daniel & Lüthen, Holger, 2018. "Effectiveness of early retirement disincentives: Individual welfare, distributional and fiscal implications," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 25-37.
    7. repec:gam:jsoctx:v:8:y:2018:i:3:p:50-:d:157217 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Kemptner, Daniel & Timm, Boenke & Holger, Luethen, 2014. "The introduction of disincentives for early retirement and its effect on labor market participation," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100446, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Timm Bönke & Carsten Schröder & Katharina Schulte, 2011. "Zur Entwicklung der Einkommensverteilung unter älteren Menschen in Deutschland seit der Wiedervereinigung," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 80(2), pages 81-99.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pensioner; Inequality; Inequality Decomposition; German Sample Survey Income data;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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