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Applying Generalized Pareto Curves to Inequality Analysis

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Listed:
  • Thomas Blanchet
  • Bertrand Garbinti
  • Jonathan Goupille-Lebret
  • Clara Martínez-Toledano

Abstract

A generalized Pareto curve is defined as the curve of inverted Pareto coefficients b(p), where b(p) is the ratio between average income or wealth above rank p and the p-th quantile. We present this concept and show how it can be used to better estimate distributions, especially from tax tabulations. By providing a simple decomposition of top shares, we discuss how studying inverted Pareto coefficients can improve the understanding of inequality dynamics. We also show how it helps to better analyze wealth and income concentrations along the distribution, using data for France, Spain, the United States, and China.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Blanchet & Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Clara Martínez-Toledano, 2018. "Applying Generalized Pareto Curves to Inequality Analysis," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 114-118, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:apandp:v:108:y:2018:p:114-18
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20181075
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    1. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(2), pages 553-609.
    2. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang & Gabriel Zucman, 2019. "Capital Accumulation, Private Property, and Rising Inequality in China, 1978–2015," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(7), pages 2469-2496, July.
    3. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang & Gabriel Zucman, 2017. "Appendix to "Capital Accumulation, Private Property and Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015"," PSE Working Papers halshs-02659212, HAL.
    4. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Savings," NBER Chapters, in: Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953), pages 171-218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2017. "Income Inequality in France, 1900-2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts," Working Papers 201704, World Inequality Lab.
    6. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2016. "Appendix to "Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France (1800-2014)"," Working Papers halshs-02794354, HAL.
    7. Thomas Blanchet & Juliette Fournier & Thomas Piketty, 2017. "Generalized Pareto Curves : Theory and Applications," Working Papers 201703, World Inequality Lab.
    8. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang & Gabriel Zucman, 2019. "Capital Accumulation, Private Property, and Rising Inequality in China, 1978–2015," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(7), pages 2469-2496, July.
    9. Garbinti, Bertrand & Goupille-Lebret, Jonathan & Piketty, Thomas, 2018. "Income inequality in France, 1900–2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts (DINA)," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 63-77.
    10. Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2016. "Editor's Choice Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 519-578.
    11. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2017. "Appendix to "Income Inequality in France, 1900-2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts"," Working Papers 201705, World Inequality Lab.
    12. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn53-1, december.
    13. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2016. "Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France (1800-2014)," PSE Working Papers halshs-02794339, HAL.
    14. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    15. Thomas Piketty, 2003. "Income Inequality in France, 1901-1998," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1004-1042, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret, 2019. "Inégalités de revenus et de richesse en France : évolutions et liens sur longue période," Working Papers halshs-02401482, HAL.
    2. Rustam Ibragimov & Paul Kattuman & Anton Skrobotov, 2021. "Robust Inference on Income Inequality: $t$-Statistic Based Approaches," Papers 2105.05335, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2021.
    3. Heck, Ines & Kapeller, Jakob & Wildauer, Rafael, 2020. "Vermögenskonzentration in Österreich: Ein Update auf Basis des HFCS 2017," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 30683, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    4. Ines Heck & Jakob Kapeller & Rafael Wildauer, 2020. "Vermögenskonzentration in Österreich," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 206, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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