Measuring Top Incomes Using Tax Record Data: A Cautionary Tale from Australia
AbstractAtkinson, Piketty, and Saez (2011) survey an important new literature using income taxbased data to measure the share of income held by top income groups. But changes in tax legislation that expand the tax base to include income sources (e.g. capital gains, dividends, etc.) disproportionately held by these groups will conflate such an expansion with an increase in the share of income they hold. We provide a cautionary tale from Australia of how comprehensive tax reform legislation in 1985 substantially altered Australian top income series, especially those that do not separate taxable realized capital gains from other taxable income.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2013n24.
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
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Top incomes; income inequality; personal income; tax-based data;
Other versions of this item:
- Richard V. Burkhauser & Markus H. Hahn & Roger Wilkins, 2013. "Measuring Top Incomes Using Tax Record Data: A Cautionary Tale from Australia," NBER Working Papers 19121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2013-07-15 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-LTV-2013-07-15 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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