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The Pareto law of incomes—an explanation and an extension


  • Reed, William J.


A stochastic model for the generation of observed income distributions is used to provide an explanation for the Pareto law of incomes. Analysis of the model also yields a prediction of Paretian (power law) behaviour in the lower tail of the distribution and this is shown to occur in a number of empirical distributions. A tractable four-parameter distribution is derived, and shown to fit extremely well to a number of different empirical income distributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Reed, William J., 2003. "The Pareto law of incomes—an explanation and an extension," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 319(C), pages 469-486.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:319:y:2003:i:c:p:469-486 DOI: 10.1016/S0378-4371(02)01507-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 2001. "Valuing American Options by Simulation: A Simple Least-Squares Approach," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 113-147.
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    7. Hull, John C & White, Alan D, 1987. " The Pricing of Options on Assets with Stochastic Volatilities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 281-300, June.
    8. Boyle, Phelim P., 1977. "Options: A Monte Carlo approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 323-338, May.
    9. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 2001. "Valuing American Options by Simulation: A Simple Least-Squares Approach," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt43n1k4jb, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
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