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The double power law in income distribution: Explanations and evidence

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  • Toda, Alexis Akira

Abstract

Conditional on education and experience, the distribution of personal labor income appears to be double Pareto, a distribution that obeys the power law in both the upper and lower tails. In particular, the error term of the classical Mincer equation appears to be Laplace, or double exponential. This “double power law” is not rejected by goodness-of-fit tests. I compare two diffusion processes (one mean-reverting, the other unit root) with a stationary double Pareto distribution as a model of income dynamics. The data favors the mean-reverting process for modeling income dynamics over the unit root process.

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  • Toda, Alexis Akira, 2012. "The double power law in income distribution: Explanations and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 364-381.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:84:y:2012:i:1:p:364-381 DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.04.012
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    Cited by:

    1. Michal Fabinger & E. Glen Weyl, 2016. "The Average-Marginal Relationship and Tractable Equilibrium Forms," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1028, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    2. Giacomo Livan & Simone Alfarano & Mishael Milaković & Enrico Scalas, 2015. "A spectral perspective on excess volatility," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(9), pages 745-750, June.
    3. Philipp Mundt & Simone Alfarano & Mishael Milakovic, 2016. "Gibrat’s Law Redux: think profitability instead of growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(4), pages 549-571.
    4. Toda, Alexis Akira, 2017. "A Note On The Size Distribution Of Consumption: More Double Pareto Than Lognormal," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(06), pages 1508-1518, September.
    5. Xavier Gabaix & Jean‐Michel Lasry & Pierre‐Louis Lions & Benjamin Moll, 2016. "The Dynamics of Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 2071-2111, November.
    6. E. Weyl & Michal Fabinger, 2015. "A Tractable Approach to Pass-Through Patterns," 2015 Meeting Papers 747, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Ramos, Arturo, 2015. "Log-growth distributions of US city sizes and non-Lévy processes," MPRA Paper 66561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Toda, Alexis Akira, 2014. "Incomplete market dynamics and cross-sectional distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 310-348.
    9. Rafael González-Val & Arturo Ramos & Fernando Sanz-Gracia, 2014. "A new framework for US city size distribution: Empirical evidence and theory," ERSA conference papers ersa14p633, European Regional Science Association.
    10. repec:eee:eneeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:182-193 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Rustam Ibragimov & Marat Ibragimov & Jovlon Karimov & Galiya Yuldasheva, 2012. "Robust Analysis of Income Inequality Dynamics in Russia: t-Statistic Based Approaches," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 105, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    12. Alexis Akira Toda & Kieran Walsh, 2015. "The Double Power Law in Consumption and Implications for Testing Euler Equations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(5), pages 1177-1200.
    13. Masato Okamoto, 2012. "Evaluation of the goodness of fit of new statistical size distributions with consideration of accurate income inequality estimation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2969-2982.
    14. Ramos, Arturo & Sanz-Gracia, Fernando & González-Val, Rafael, 2013. "A new framework for the US city size distribution: Empirical evidence and theory," MPRA Paper 52190, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anderson–Darling test; Diffusion processes; Fokker–Planck equation; Kolmogorov–Smirnov test; Laplace distribution; Mincer equation; Power law;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C65 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Miscellaneous Mathematical Tools
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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