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A Note on the Relationship between Top Income Shares and the Gini Coefficient

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  • Alvaredo, Facundo

Abstract

When a very top group of the income distribution, infinitesimal in numbers, owns a finite share S of total income, the Gini coefficient G can be approximated by G*(1 - S) + S, where G* is the Gini coefficient for the rest of the population. We provide a simple formal proof for this expression, give a general formula of the relationship when the top group is not infinitesimal, and offer two applications as illustrations.

Suggested Citation

  • Alvaredo, Facundo, 2010. "A Note on the Relationship between Top Income Shares and the Gini Coefficient," CEPR Discussion Papers 8071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8071
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dagum, Camilo, 1997. "A New Approach to the Decomposition of the Gini Income Inequality Ratio," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 515-531.
    2. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "How Closely Do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 619-633, November.
    3. Dagum, Camilo, 1987. "Measuring the Economic Affluence between Populations of Income Receivers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(1), pages 5-12, January.
    4. Atkinson, A. B. & Piketty, Thomas (ed.), 2007. "Top Incomes Over the Twentieth Century: A Contrast Between Continental European and English-Speaking Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199286881.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gini coefficient; Pareto distribution; top income shares;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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