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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses literature which uses panel data to measure the income patterns of individuals over their lifetimes, that is, intragenerational mobility. It begins with a detailed explanation of the most common methods used to calculate intragenerational mobility and the empirical problems of implementing these measures across countries. It goes on to describe the relationship between the data used in studies of mobility and the conceptual content of the research. It then reviews the major findings of empirical studies of intragenerational income mobility, pointing out for example that most studies find no clear relationship between greater cross-sectional inequality and greater intragenerational mobility, as is often casually assumed. The field is judged to be relatively underdeveloped in comparison to the cross-sectional inequality literature, due partly to the scarcity of the type of data required to study such mobility.

Keywords: income patterns, income mobility, inequality, intragenerational mobility

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