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What Determines Top Income Shares? Evidence from the Twentieth Century

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Author Info

  • Roine, Jesper

    ()
    (SITE)

  • Vlachos, Jonas

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

  • Waldenström, Daniel

    ()
    (IFN)

Abstract

This paper examines the long-run determinants of the evolution of top in-come shares. Using a newly assembled panel of 16 developed countries over the entire twentieth century, we find that financial development dis-proportionately boosts top incomes. This effect appears to be particularly strong during the early stages of a country’s development. Economic growth is strongly pro-rich which is inconsistent with globalized labor markets determining the incomes of elites. Furthermore, international trade is not associated with increases in top incomes on average, but is so in An-glo-Saxon countries. Finally, tax progressivity has a significant negative ef-fect on top income shares whereas government spending has no such clear impact on inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 676.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 29 Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0676

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Keywords: Top incomes; income inequality; financial development; trade openness; government spending; economic development;

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Cited by:
  1. Mazhar MUGHAL & Amar Iqbal ANWAR, 2012. "Remittances, Inequality and Poverty in Pakistan: Macro and Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 2012-2013_2, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Aug 2012.
  2. Brian Nolan & Ive Marx & Wiemer Salverda, 2011. "GINI DP 9: Comparable Indicators of Inequality Across Countries," GINI Discussion Papers 9, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  3. Robert J. Gordon & Ian Dew-Becker, 2008. "Controversies about the Rise of American Inequality: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 13982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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