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Applying Generalized Pareto Curves to Inequality Analysis

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  • Thomas Blanchet

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Bertrand Garbinti

    (Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France)

  • Jonathan Goupille-Lebret

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon - Saint-Etienne - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Clara Martínez-Toledano

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

A generalized Pareto curve is defined as the curve of inverted Pareto coefficients b(p), where b(p) is the ratio between average income or wealth above rank p and the p-th quantile. We present this concept and show how it can be used to better estimate distributions, especially from tax tabulations. By providing a simple decomposition of top shares, we discuss how studying inverted Pareto coefficients can improve the understanding of inequality dynamics. We also show how it helps to better analyze wealth and income concentrations along the distribution, using data for France, Spain, the United States, and China.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Blanchet & Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Clara Martínez-Toledano, 2018. "Applying Generalized Pareto Curves to Inequality Analysis," Post-Print halshs-01902598, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01902598
    DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20181075
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-01902598
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    1. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang & Gabriel Zucman, 2019. "Capital Accumulation, Private Property, and Rising Inequality in China, 1978–2015," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(7), pages 2469-2496, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2017. "Appendix to "Income Inequality in France, 1900-2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts"," Working Papers 201705, World Inequality Lab.
    4. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn53-1, July.
    5. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2016. "Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France (1800-2014)," Working Papers halshs-02794339, HAL.
    6. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang & Gabriel Zucman, 2017. "Appendix to "Capital Accumulation, Private Property and Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015"," Working Papers 201707, World Inequality Lab.
    7. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 133(2), pages 553-609.
    8. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Savings," NBER Chapters, in: Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953), pages 171-218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2017. "Income Inequality in France, 1900-2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts," Working Papers halshs-02658875, HAL.
    10. Thomas Blanchet & Juliette Fournier & Thomas Piketty, 2022. "Generalized Pareto Curves: Theory and Applications," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(1), pages 263-288, March.
    11. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2016. "Appendix to "Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France (1800-2014)"," Working Papers halshs-02794354, HAL.
    12. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    13. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 0. "Accounting for Wealth-Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates, and Simulations for France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 620-663.
    14. Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2016. "Editor's Choice Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 131(2), pages 519-578.
    15. Facundo Alvaredo & Lucas Chancel & Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Distributional National Accounts," Post-Print halshs-03342488, HAL.
    16. Thomas Piketty, 2003. "Income Inequality in France, 1901-1998," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1004-1042, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vladimir Hlasny, 2021. "Parametric representation of the top of income distributions: Options, historical evidence, and model selection," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1217-1256, September.
    2. Luis Bauluz & Filip Novokmet & Moritz Schularick, 2022. "The Anatomy of the Global Saving Glut," Working Papers halshs-03693216, HAL.
    3. Engel, Janina & Ohlwerter, Dennis & Scherer, Matthias, 2023. "On the estimation of distributional household wealth: addressing under-reporting via optimization problems with invariant Gini coefficient," Working Paper Series 2865, European Central Bank.
    4. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret, 2019. "Inégalités de revenus et de richesse en France : évolutions et liens sur longue période," Working Papers halshs-02401482, HAL.
    5. Marko Ledic & Ivica Rubil & Ivica Urban, 2022. "Missing top incomes and tax-benefit microsimulation: evidence from correcting household survey data using tax records data," Working Papers 2201, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
    6. Pablo Gutiérrez Cubillos, 2022. "Gini and undercoverage at the upper tail: a simple approximation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 29(2), pages 443-471, April.
    7. Ines Heck & Jakob Kapeller & Rafael Wildauer, 2020. "Vermögenskonzentration in Österreich," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 206, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    8. Felix Bierbrauer & Pierre Boyer & Andreas Peichl & Daniel Weishaar, 2023. "The Taxation of Couples," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 405, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    9. Heck, Ines & Kapeller, Jakob & Wildauer, Rafael, 2020. "Vermögenskonzentration in Österreich: Ein Update auf Basis des HFCS 2017," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 30683, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    10. Rustam Ibragimov & Paul Kattuman & Anton Skrobotov, 2021. "Robust Inference on Income Inequality: $t$-Statistic Based Approaches," Papers 2105.05335, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2021.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P36 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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