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Top incomes and the gender divide

Author

Listed:
  • Anthony B. Atkinson

    (Nuffield College and Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, Oxford, and London School of Economics)

  • Alessandra Casarico

    (Università Bocconi, Milan, CESifo, Munich, and Dondena Research Centre on Social Dynamics and Public Policy)

  • Sarah Voitchovsky

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, Carlton, and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)

Abstract

In the recent research on top incomes, there has been little discussion of gender. A great deal is known about gender differentials in earnings, but how far does this carry over to total incomes? This paper investigates the gender divide at the top of the income distribution using tax record data for eight countries with individual taxation. It shows that women are strongly under-represented at the top of the distribution. Although the presence of women at the top has increased over time, the rise becomes smaller at the very top. The income gradient by gender has become more marked. The paper also shows that income composition differs by gender and exhibits significant changes over time, underlining the fact that it is not sufficient to look only at earned income.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony B. Atkinson & Alessandra Casarico & Sarah Voitchovsky, 2018. "Top incomes and the gender divide," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 225-256, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:16:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10888-018-9384-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-018-9384-z
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    1. Top Incomes and the Gender Divide
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-09-12 23:49:10

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    2. Boschini, Anne & Gunnarsson, Kristin & Roine, Jesper, 2017. "Women in Top Incomes – Evidence from Sweden 1974-2013," Working Paper Series 5/2017, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    3. Rolf Aaberge & Anthony B. Atkinson & Sebastian Königs, 2018. "From classes to copulas: wages, capital, and top incomes," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 295-320, June.
    4. Richard V. Burkhauser & Nicolas Herault & Stephen P. Jenkins & Roger Wilkins, 2020. "What accounts for the rising share of women in the top 1\%?," Working Papers 544, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Lucas Chancel, 2019. "Ten facts about income inequality in advanced economies," Working Papers hal-02876982, HAL.
    6. Hecht, Katharina & Summers, Kate, 2020. "The long and short of it: the temporal significance of wealth and income," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 106519, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. 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.
    8. Amadeo Fuenmayor & Rafael Granell & Teresa Savall Morera, 2020. "Tax-benefit Systems and Gender Gap. An Across-Europe Study," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 235(4), pages 87-118, December.
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    10. Gozde Corekcioglu & Marco Francesconi & Astrid Kunze, 2020. "Do Generous Parental Leave Policies Help Top Female Earners?," CESifo Working Paper Series 8330, CESifo.
    11. Michael A. Nelson & Rajeev K. Goel, 2021. "Does Gender Equality Translate into Economic Equality? Evidence from about 150 Nations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8949, CESifo.
    12. Fortin, Nicole M. & Bell, Brian & Böhm, Michael, 2017. "Top earnings inequality and the gender pay gap: Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 107-123.
    13. Maria De Paola & Rosetta Lombardo & Valeria Pupo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2020. "Do Women Shy Away from Public Speaking? A Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00706, The Field Experiments Website.
    14. Terhi Ravaska, 2018. "Top incomes and income dynamics from a gender perspective: Evidence from Finland 1995–2012," Working Papers 321, Palkansaajien tutkimuslaitos, Labour Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Terhi Ravaska, 2020. "Gender-specific top incomes: are they Pareto distributed?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(3), pages 1994-2004.
    16. Terhi Ravaska, 2018. "Top incomes and income dynamics from a gender perspective: Evidence from Finland 1995-2012," Working Papers 469, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    17. Roman Bobilev & Anne Boschini & Jesper Roine, 2020. "Women in the Top of the Income Distribution: What Can We Learn From LIS-Data?," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 6(1), pages 63-107, March.
    18. Ravaska Terhi, 2018. "Top incomes and income dynamics from a gender perspective : Evidence from Finland 1995-2012," Working Papers 1822, Tampere University, School of Management and Business, Economics.
    19. Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta, 2020. "Introduction Special Issue “On Gender Perspectives in Public Economics”," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 235(4), pages 3-10, December.
    20. Boschini, Anne & Gunnarsson, Kristin & Roine, Jesper, 2020. "Women in top incomes – Evidence from Sweden 1971–2017," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 181(C).
    21. Lucas Chancel, 2019. "Ten facts about income inequality in advanced economies," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02876982, HAL.
    22. M. Costa, 2019. "The evaluation of gender income inequality by means of the Gini index decomposition," Working Papers wp1130, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    23. Casarico, A. & Lattanzio, S., 2019. "What Firms Do: Gender Inequality in Linked Employer-Employee Data," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1966, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    24. Paolo Di Caro, 2017. "The contribution of tax statistics for analysing regional income disparities in Italy," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 25(1), pages 1-27, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Top income groups; Gender; Income composition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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