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.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.


Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

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

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Barberis w18621 Thirty Years of Prospect Theory in Economics: A Review and Assessment
Kopczuk, Saez, and Song w13345 Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937
Burkhauser, Hahn, and Wilkins w19121 Measuring Top Incomes Using Tax Record Data: A Cautionary Tale from Australia
Armour, Burkhauser, and Larrimore w19110 Levels and Trends in United States Income and Its Distribution A Crosswalk from Market Income Towards a Comprehensive Haig-Simons Income Approach
Burkhauser and Simon w15811 Measuring the Impact of Health Insurance on Levels and Trends in Inequality
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us