Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Mobility and Gender at the Top Tail of the Earnings Distribution

Contents:

Author Info

  • Ross Finnie

    (Statistics Canada)

  • Ian Irvine

    (Concordia University)

Abstract

The increasing share of the top fractile in the earnings distributions of several Anglo- Saxon heritage economies since the 1970s has been dramatic, and well documented. To date, however, little is known about the socio-economic origins and gender composition of the very top tail in the modern era. This paper takes a first step in filling some of the holes in our knowledge. We use a tax-filer data base for Canada for the period 1983-2003 that contains about eighty million observations. We show first that male earners in the top one thousandth of the distribution come very disproportionately from families with incomes in the top decile. In contrast, individuals in the remaining part of the top centile have more dispersed socio-economic origins. Second we show that female participation in the top fractiles has been very low, and that growth in participation has been slow yet definite. In contrast, female earnings in this echelon are almost on par with male earnings. Third, we show that there is an enormous asymmetry between the genders when it comes to spousal earnings: high-earning women have very high-earning spouses, but not vice versa. ‘Secondary males’ have earnings levels almost ten times as high as ‘secondary females’, suggesting that, even at this extremely elevated earnings level there is truth to the adage about who lies ‘behind’ successful individuals. Finally, it is illustrated that the earnings concentration that has characterised the last three decades did not change with the end of the ‘tech boom’ in the year 2000.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.esr.ie/Vol37_2/02_finnie_article.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 37 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 149-173

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:37:y:2006:i:2:p:149-173

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.esr.ie

Related research

Keywords:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Grawe, Nathan D., 2006. "Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-570, October.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  3. Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "Wage Mobility in the United States," NBER Working Papers 5455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998113e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  5. Dell, Fabien & Piketty, Thomas & Saez, Emmanuel, 2005. "Income and Wealth Concentration in Switzerland Over the 20th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 5090, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Corak, Miles, 2006. "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 1993, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Banerjee, Abhijit & Piketty, Thomas, 2004. "Top Indian Incomes, 1922-2000," CEPR Discussion Papers 4632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
  9. Thomas Piketty, 2003. "Income Inequality in France, 1901-1998," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1004-1042, October.
  10. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1995. "Revisiting the Sen Poverty Index," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1225-30, September.
  11. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 2003. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Cahiers de recherche 0301, CIRPEE.
  12. Martin Feldstein, 1993. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the1986 Tax Reform Act," NBER Working Papers 4496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Zvi Eckstein & Éva Nagypál, 2004. "The evolution of U.S. earnings inequality: 1961?2002," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Dec, pages 10-29.
  14. Alvaredo, Facundo & Saez, Emmanuel, 2006. "Income and Wealth Concentration in Spain in a Historical and Fiscal Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5836, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Anthony B. Atkinson & Wiemer Salverda, 2005. "Top Incomes In The Netherlands And The United Kingdom Over The 20th Century," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 883-913, 06.
  16. Emmanuel Saez & Michael R. Veall, 2005. "The Evolution of High Incomes in Northern America: Lessons from Canadian Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 831-849, June.
  17. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
  19. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  20. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  21. Chiaki Moriguchi & Emmanuel Saez, 2006. "The Evolution of Income Concentration in Japan, 1886-2002: Evidence from Income Tax Statistics," NBER Working Papers 12558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2008. "Intergenerational Top Income Mobility in Sweden – Capitalist Dynasties in the Land of Equal Opportunity?," Working Paper Series 775, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 27 Sep 2010.
  2. Catherine Deri-Armstrong, 2009. "The Long-term Effects of Maternal Employment on Daughters’ Later Labour Force Participation and Earnings," Working Papers 0914E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:37:y:2006:i:2:p:149-173. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Frank Walsh).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.