Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 98: Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States

Rolf Aaberge , Anders Björklund , Markus Jäntti , Mårten Palme (), Peder Pedersen , Nina Smith and Tom Wennemo
Additional contact information
Rolf Aaberge: Statistics Norway
Anders Björklund: Stockholm University
Markus Jäntti: Åbo Akademi University
Mårten Palme: Department of Economic Statistics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden.
Peder Pedersen: Århus University
Nina Smith: Århus School of Business
Tom Wennemo: Statistics Norway

Abstract: This paper compares income inequality and income mobility in the Scandinavian countries and the United States during the 1980s. The results demonstrate that inequality is greater in the United states than in the Scandinavian countries and that the ranking of countries with respect to inequality remains unchanged when the accounting period of income is extended from one to 11 years. The pattern of mobility turns out to be remarkably similar despite major differences in labor market and social policies between the Scandinavian countries and the United States.

Keywords: Income distribution; earnings mobility

JEL-codes: D31; J31

33 pages, First version: February 1996. Revised: August 2002.

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