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Volatile Top Income Shares in Switzerland? Reassessing the Evolution Between 1981 and 2008

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  • Foellmi, Reto

    ()

  • Martinez, Isabel

    ()

Abstract

We study the recent evolution of top incomes in Switzerland. We close the data gap between 1993 and 2003 exploiting the fact that cantons changed their tax system at different points in time which allows us to use the non-changing cantons as control group. The results show that the share of top incomes has risen, the top 0.01% share even doubled in the last 20 years. However, top incomes exhibited large variation in the business cycle. We compare the results with social security data on top labor incomes for which the top shares can be measured precisely over the whole time span. The comparison confirms our initial findings and suggests that labor incomes have become more important among top income earners.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1227.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1227.

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Length: 74 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision: Jun 2013
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2012:27

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Keywords: Income inequality; wealth inequality; labor incomes; distribution and volatility;

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References

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  1. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2014. "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 230-71, February.
  2. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, . "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," IEW - Working Papers, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich 098, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Alvaredo, Facundo & Saez, Emmanuel, 2009. "Income and Wealth Concentration in Spain from a Historical and Fiscal Perspective," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley qt4017h9q3, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  4. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2006. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," NBER Working Papers 12365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Richard Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen Jenkins & Jeff Larrimore, 2009. "Recent Trends in Top Income Shares in the USA: Reconciling Estimates from March CPS and IRS Tax Return Data," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 09-26, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn53-1.
  7. Kopczuk, Wojciech & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Top Wealth Shares in the United States, 1916-2000: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 445-87, June.
  8. Alvaredo, Facundo, 2010. "A Note on the Relationship between Top Income Shares and the Gini Coefficient," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  10. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
  11. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," NBER Working Papers 15408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Reich sein in der Schweiz….
    by Reto Föllmi in BATZ.ch on 2013-01-12 16:09:34

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