Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Inclusive Growth and Absolute Intragenerational Mobility in the United States, 1962-2014

Berman, Yonatan (2018): Inclusive Growth and Absolute Intragenerational Mobility in the United States, 1962-2014.

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Abstract

This paper combines historical cross-sectional and longitudinal income and wealth data in the United States to present the evolution of absolute intragenerational mobility from the 1960s onward. That is, the fraction of families with higher income or wealth over a given period. We find that the rates of absolute mobility over periods of two to four years are largely confined within 45%-55%. This occurs over all the phases of the business cycle. Absolute mobility is higher for lower percentiles, also during periods of increasing inequality. These results stem from the importance of the changes in the composition of income and wealth percentiles even over short time periods. We offer a simplified model to mathematically describe these findings.

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