Consolidating the Evidence on Income Mobility in the Western States of Germany and the U.S. From 1984-2006
30 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2012 Last revised: 9 Jan 2013
Date Written: December 2012
The cross-national intragenerational income mobility literature assumes within-country mobility is invariant over the period measured. We argue that a great social transformation--German reunification-- abruptly and permanently altered economic mobility. Using standard measures of mobility (with panel data for the western states of Germany and the U.S.) over the entire period 1984-2006, we find the conventional result that income mobility is greater in Germany. But when we cut the data into moving five-year windows and compare mobility before and after reunification, income mobility declines significantly over the years immediately following reunification in Germany but not in the U.S.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation