The Ins and Outs of Top Income Mobility

45 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2013

See all articles by Rolf Aaberge

Rolf Aaberge

Statistics Norway; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Deaprtment of Economics

Anthony B. Atkinson

University of Oxford - Nuffield College of Medicine; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Jorgen Modalsli

Statistics Norway

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the question of whether top income earners are permanently there or only temporarily receive the highest incomes. How much mobility is there at the top of the income distribution, and how has mobility changed over time? The paper makes both a methodological and an empirical contribution to answering these questions. The first part of the paper introduces a family of top income mobility measures based on differences in average annual incomes of top income earners in short-term and long-term distributions of income. Norwegian income tax records are then employed to study top income mobility in Norway since 1967. The results reveal low levels of top income mobility, but a relatively large increase in mobility starting at the same time as the income shares of the top income receivers started to increase around 1990.

Keywords: top income shares, income mobility, inequality

JEL Classification: J31, E24, D63, N34

Suggested Citation

Aaberge, Rolf and Atkinson, Anthony B. and Modalsli, Jorgen, The Ins and Outs of Top Income Mobility. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7729, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2363216

Rolf Aaberge (Contact Author)

Statistics Norway ( email )

N-0033 Oslo
Norway

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Deaprtment of Economics ( email )

Norway

Anthony B. Atkinson

University of Oxford - Nuffield College of Medicine

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Jorgen Modalsli

Statistics Norway ( email )

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