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Abstract for:

Measuring Income Mobility with Dirty Data (published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22(3), May 1999)

Frank A Cowell,  Christian Schluter,  November 1998
Paper No' CASE 016: Full paper (pdf)
Tags: employment and income; income inequalities; wealth and social mobility; wealth and assets; poverty, exclusion and equalities; equality, capabilities and human rights; methodology, concepts and measures; measurement, concepts and measures; mobility measures; robustness; data contamination


We examine the performance of measures of mobility when allowance is made for the possibility of data contamination. We find that 'single-stage' indices - those that are applied directly to a sample from a multivariate income distribution - usually prove to be non-robust in the face of contamination. However, 'two-stage' models of mobility - where the distribution is first 'discretised' into income intervals and then a transition matrix or other tool is applied - may be robust if the first stage is appropriately specified.