Measuring the Variance-Age Profile of Lifetime Income
21 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2004
Date Written: May 1979
This paper presents an operational meaning to the concept of the variance in lifetime income in terms of the discounted variance of T mutually uncorrelated, sequentially realized, random variables. It is then shown how the logical implications of the lifecycle consumption model can be used to estimate this series of variances, called the variance-age profile of lifetime income, and we refer to an earlier paper by Eden (1977) to show how this variance-age profile can be used to compare the riskiness of alternative labor income paths. Finally the estimation technique is applied to Israeli data in order to compare the riskiness of the earnings path of those who attended college with that of those who terminated their education at the high school level in that economy, and to consider data requirements and estimation problems in greater depth.
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