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Wealth Mobility: The Missing Element

43 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2004  

James R. Kearl

Brigham Young University - Department of Economics

Clayne L. Pope

Brigham Young University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 1981

Abstract

We consider the problems that may arise when cross sectional data alone are used for inferences about individual welfare, the existence of elites, the possibilities of class boundaries, the openness of a society, etc. We also consider problems with alternative measures of socio-economic position. We then use a sample of 2400 households observed over one or two decade intervals together with data on the population of households at each observation point to examine mobility within the distribution of wealth for an almost closed economy, Utah, 1850-1870. We use information on households to examine those characteristics that contribute to mobility. We find considerable mobility, much apparently stochastic, within quite highly skewed distributions of wealth that also exhibit increasing inequality through time.

Suggested Citation

Kearl, James R. and Pope, Clayne L., Wealth Mobility: The Missing Element (June 1981). NBER Working Paper No. w0692. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=349090

James R. Kearl (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - Department of Economics ( email )

130 Faculty Office Bldg.
Provo, UT 84602-2363
United States

Clayne L. Pope

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Brigham Young University ( email )

Department of Economics
Provo, UT 84602
United States
(801)378-2083 (Phone)
(801)378-5978 (Fax)

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