Two Views of Inequality Over the Life-Cycle

14 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2005

See all articles by Jonathan Heathcote

Jonathan Heathcote

Minneapolis Fed

Kjetil Storesletten

University of Oslo - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Giovanni L. Violante

New York University, Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

Data on the life-cycle profiles of inequality in wages, earnings, hours worked and consumption contains precious information for answering questions about the ability of households to insure labor market risk and about the sources of this risk. This Paper demonstrates that the choice of whether to control for cohort effects or for time effects has a drastic impact on the estimated age profiles for inequality and, thus, on the answers to those questions. It also shows that time effects are required to account for the observed trends in inequality in thirty years of US data, whereas there is no evidence that cohort effects have been important.

Keywords: Wage inequality, consumption inequality, cohort effects, labor supply

JEL Classification: C13, D31, D91, J22, J31

Suggested Citation

Heathcote, Jonathan and Storesletten, Kjetil and Violante, Giovanni L., Two Views of Inequality Over the Life-Cycle (November 2004). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 4728. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=648037

Jonathan Heathcote

Minneapolis Fed ( email )

90 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55480
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jonathanheathcote.com

Kjetil Storesletten (Contact Author)

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1095 Blindern
N-0317 Oslo
Norway
+47 2284 4009 (Phone)
+47 2285 5035 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://folk.uio.no/kjstore/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Giovanni L. Violante

New York University, Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-992-9771 (Phone)
212-995-4186 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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