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How Closely Do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?

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  • Andrew Leigh

Abstract

In recent years, researchers have used taxation statistics to estimate the share of total income held by the richest groups, such as the top 10% or the top 1%. Compiling a standardised top income shares dataset for thirteen developed countries, I find that there is a strong and significant relationship between top income shares and broader inequality measures, such as the gini coefficient. This suggests that panel data on top income shares may be a useful substitute for other measures of inequality over periods when alternative income distribution measures are of low quality, or unavailable

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Leigh, 2007. "How Closely Do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?," CEPR Discussion Papers 562, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:562
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/CEPR/DP562.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; income distribution; top incomes; panel data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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