June 1, 1999
The existence of income mobility may moderate concerns about growing inequalities, especially if income mobility has increased. However, the evidence for rising mobility is equivocal, and its extent is not enough to offset the growth of cross-sectional inequality. There is a case for greater concern for, and different policies towards, those persistently or recurrently poor than those only temporarily poor, but the data analysed here suggest that the bulk of low income observations come from the first two categories. Analysis of income mobility may help understand why people's incomes follow different trajectories and how policy might affect this.
Volume: 109 (453):F91-F111
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