IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/hpe/journl/y2004v168i1p123-141.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Income Tax and Top Incomes over the Twentieth Century

Author

Listed:
  • A. B. Atkinson

    (Nuffield College, Oxford)

Abstract

The first section of the paper gives a stylised account of the development of the UK income tax structure over the past 200 years, and refers to recent changes in other OECD countries. The second section turns to the distribution of income and summarises the evidence about the top of the income distribution that can be derived from the income tax data. The main results relate to the UK, but comparisons are made with similar evidence for Canada, France, the Netherlands, and the US. The third part of the paper considers the explanation of the observed changes in the distribution and the impact of progressive income taxation. How far are changes in income shares a reflection of the re-arrangement of income? How far are they associated with changes in the composition of top incomes? Conclusions about distributional incidence have to be based on modelling the determination of the personal income distribution, but such modelling is not typically treated in public finance textbooks. The fourth section of the paper considers how the analysis of distributional incidence can be developed, paying specific attention to the explanation of the upper tail of the distribution

Suggested Citation

  • A. B. Atkinson, 2004. "Income Tax and Top Incomes over the Twentieth Century," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 168(1), pages 123-141, march.
  • Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2004:v:168:i:1:p:123-141
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ief.es/documentos/recursos/publicaciones/revistas/hac_pub/168_Atkinson.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-397, July.
    3. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "Are "Real" Responses to Taxes Simply Income Shifting Between Corporate and Personal Tax Bases?," NBER Working Papers 6576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Musgrave, Richard A, 1987. "Short of Euphoria," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 59-71, Summer.
    5. A. B. Atkinson & S. Voitchovsky, 2011. "The Distribution of Top Earnings in the UK since the Second World War," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(311), pages 440-459, July.
    6. Anthony B. Atkinson & Wiemer Salverda, 2005. "Top Incomes In The Netherlands And The United Kingdom Over The 20th Century," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 883-913, June.
    7. Agell, Jonas & Englund, Peter & Sodersten, Jan, 1996. "Tax Reform of the Century -- the Swedish Experiment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 643-664, December.
    8. Pechman, Joseph A, 1987. "Tax Reform: Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 11-28, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Frank A Cowell & Maria-Pia Victoria-Feser, 2007. "Modelling Lorenz Curves:robust and semi-parametric issues," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 91, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    2. Frank Cowell & Maria-Pia Victoria-Feser, 2007. "Robust stochastic dominance: A semi-parametric approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(1), pages 21-37, April.
    3. Cabral, René & García-Díaz, Rocío & Mollick, André Varella, 2016. "Does globalization affect top income inequality?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 916-940.
    4. Roine, Jesper & Vlachos, Jonas & Waldenström, Daniel, 2009. "The long-run determinants of inequality: What can we learn from top income data?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 974-988, August.
    5. Francisco M. Gonzalez & Jean‐François Wen, 2015. "A Theory of Top Income Taxation and Social Insurance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1474-1500, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    . : Income; Taxation; Income Distribution; Tax Incidence;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2004:v:168:i:1:p:123-141. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Belén Miquel Burgos). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iefgves.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.