Changes in the income distribution of the Dutch elderly between 1989 and 2020: A dynamic microsimulation

This paper analyzes the income distribution of the Dutch elderly using a microsimulation model. Microsimulation models allow for detailed estimates on the whole income distribution.Our model deviates from traditional models by explicitly considering the persistency and heteroskedasticity of real income shocks. In this way, modeling all underlying processes influencing household income becomes less necessary, which can improve the trade-off betweenrefinement and the tractability of microsimulation models.We show the results of three model specifications with different levels of refinement. The results are in line and indicate that between 2008 and 2020, the highest predicted annual growthamong the elderly is for median-income households (about 1.2%). High-income households have a somewhat lower predicted growth (about 1.0%) and low-income households only have a predicted annual income growth of about 0.5%. Inequality therefore seems to increase in thelower part of the distribution, while it will probably decline in the upper part of the distribution.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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