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Evidence for power-law tail of the wealth distribution in India

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  • Sinha, Sitabhra

Abstract

The higher-end tail of the wealth distribution in India is studied using recently published lists of the wealth of richest Indians between the years 2002–2004. The resulting rank distribution seems to imply a power-law tail for the wealth distribution, with a Pareto exponent between 0.81 and 0.92 (depending on the year under analysis). This provides a comparison with previous studies of wealth distribution, which have all been confined to Western advanced capitalist economies. We conclude with a discussion on the appropriateness of multiplicative stochastic process as a model for asset accumulation, the relation between the wealth and income distributions (we estimate the Pareto exponent for the latter to be around 1.5 for India), as well as possible sources of error in measuring the Pareto exponent for wealth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications.

Volume (Year): 359 (2006)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 555-562

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Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:359:y:2006:i:c:p:555-562

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Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/physica-a-statistical-mechpplications/

Related research

Keywords: Wealth distribution; Income distribution; Pareto Law; Econophysics;

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Cited by:
  1. Arnab Chatterjee & Bikas K Chakrabarti, 2005. "Ideal-Gas Like Markets: Effect of Savings," Papers physics/0507136, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2005.
  2. Ogwang, Tomson, 2013. "Is the wealth of the world’s billionaires Paretian?," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(4), pages 757-762.
  3. Patriarca, Marco & Chakraborti, Anirban & Germano, Guido, 2006. "Influence of saving propensity on the power-law tail of the wealth distribution," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 369(2), pages 723-736.
  4. J. R. Iglesias & R. M. C. de Almeida, 2011. "Entropy and equilibrium state of free market models," Papers 1108.5725, arXiv.org.
  5. Sitabhra Sinha, 2005. "The Rich Are Different!: Pareto Law from asymmetric interactions in asset exchange models," Papers physics/0504197, arXiv.org.
  6. Jess Benhabib & Shenghao Zhu, 2008. "Age, Luck, and Inheritance," NBER Working Papers 14128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Coelho, Ricardo & Richmond, Peter & Barry, Joseph & Hutzler, Stefan, 2008. "Double power laws in income and wealth distributions," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(15), pages 3847-3851.
  8. Young, D.S., 2013. "Approximate tolerance limits for Zipf–Mandelbrot distributions," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(7), pages 1702-1711.
  9. Chakrabarti, Anindya S. & Chakrabarti, Bikas K., 2010. "Statistical theories of income and wealth distribution," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 4(4), pages 1-31.
  10. Sebastian D. Guala, 2008. "Taxes in a simple wealth distribution model by inelastically scattering particles," Papers 0807.4484, arXiv.org.
  11. Subramanian, S. & Jayaraj, D., 2006. "The Distribution of Household Wealth in India," Working Paper Series RP2006/116, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  12. Tomson Ogwang, 2011. "Power laws in top wealth distributions: evidence from Canada," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 473-486, October.
  13. Sebastian Guala, 2009. "Taxes in a Wealth Distribution Model by Inelastically Scattering of Particles," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 7(1), pages 1-7.
  14. Michal Brzezinski, 2013. "Do wealth distributions follow power laws? Evidence from "rich lists"," Papers 1304.0212, arXiv.org.
  15. Guo, Qiang & Gao, Li, 2012. "Distribution of individual incomes in China between 1992 and 2009," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(21), pages 5139-5145.
  16. Carmen Pellicer-Lostao & Ricardo Lopez-Ruiz, 2010. "Transition from Exponential to Power Law Distributions in a Chaotic Market," Papers 1011.5187, arXiv.org.

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