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Towards a System of Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Global Inequality Estimates from WID.world

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  • Facundo Alvaredo
  • Lucas Chancel
  • Thomas Piketty
  • Emmanuel Saez
  • Gabriel Zucman

Abstract

[eng] This paper briefly presents the methodology of Distributional National Accounts (DINA), which distributes total national income and total wealth among all individual residents. With DINA, we can estimate inequality statistics and growth by income and wealth groups that are consistent with aggregate growth from National Accounts. This methodology has been recently applied to a number of countries, and the data produced are available from WID.world. The paper summarizes the initial empirical findings. We observe rising top income and wealth shares in nearly all countries in recent decades, but the magnitude of the increase varies substantially, thereby suggesting that different country-specific institutions and policies matter. We combine countries’ statistics to estimate global inequality since 1980. Global inequality has increased since 1980 in spite of the catching up of large emerging countries like China and India. This has been driven by the income growth of top world earners.

Suggested Citation

  • Facundo Alvaredo & Lucas Chancel & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2020. "Towards a System of Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Global Inequality Estimates from WID.world," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE), issue 517-518-5, pages 41-59.
  • Handle: RePEc:nse:ecosta:ecostat_2020_517t_4
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.24187/ecostat.2020.517t.2018
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    1. Alvaredo, Facundo & Atkinson, Anthony B. & Morelli, Salvatore, 2018. "Top wealth shares in the UK over more than a century," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 26-47.
    2. Thomas F. Crossley & Cormac O'Dea & Facundo Alvaredo & Anthony B. Atkinson & Salvatore Morelli, 2016. "The Challenge of Measuring UK Wealth Inequality in the 2000s," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 37, pages 13-33, March.
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    4. Facundo Alvaredo & Anthony Atkinson & Lucas Chancel & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2016. "Distributional National Accounts (DINA) Guidelines : Concepts and Methods used in WID.world," Working Papers halshs-02794308, HAL.
    5. Facundo Alvaredo & Lucas Chancel & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "The Elephant Curve of Global Inequality and Growth," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 103-108, May.
    6. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
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    8. 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.
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    3. Lee, Jangyoun, 2021. "Behind rising inequality and falling growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution

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