Working Paper

The sensitivity of distributional measures to the reference period of income

Kiel Working Papers, 1777

When individual or household incomes are collected for administrative or scientific surveys,

the reference period of income is sometimes a month, sometimes a quarter, and sometimes a

year. This reference period of income likely affects the shape of the distribution and derived

measures of inequality, poverty, and mobility. Using employment histories of German

residents, the present study systematically explores the sensitivity of distributional measures

to the length of the reference period of income. Estimates from annual, quarterly and monthly

distributions are provided for one and a half decades, starting from year 1991.

Autor

Carsten Schröder