Two views of inequality over the life cycle

Jonathan Heathcote, Kjetil Storesletten, Giovanni L. Violante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Data on the life-cycle profiles of inequality in wages, earnings, hours worked, and consumption contain precious information for answering questions about the ability of households to insure labor market risk and about the sources of this risk. This paper demonstrates that the choice of whether to control for cohort effects or for time effects has a drastic impact on the estimated age profiles for inequality and, thus on the answers to those questions. It also shows that time effects are required to account of the observed trends in inequality in 30 years of U.S. data, whereas there is no evidence that cohort effects have been important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-775
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the European Economic Association
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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