Consolidating the Evidence on Income Mobility in the Western States of Germany and the U.S. from 1984-2006

Gulgun Bayaz-Ozturk, Richard V. Burkhauser, Kenneth A. Couch

NBER Working Paper No. 18618
Issued in December 2012
NBER Program(s):   LS

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18618

Published: CONSOLIDATING THE EVIDENCE ON INCOME MOBILITY IN THE WESTERN STATES OF GERMANY AND THE UNITED STATES FROM 1984 TO 2006 GULGUN BAYAZ-OZTURK1, RICHARD V. BURKHAUSER2 andKENNETH A. COUCH3 Article first published online: 7 JUN 2013 DOI: 10.1111/ecin.12025 © 2013 Western Economic Association International Issue Economic Inquiry Economic Inquiry Volume 52, Issue 1, pages 431–443, January 2014

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