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Top incomes and earnings in Portugal 1936-2004

  • Facundo Alvaredo

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

This paper analyzes income and earnings concentration in Portugal from a long-run perspective using personal income and wage tax statistics. Our results suggest that income concentration was much higher during the 1930s and early 1940s than it is today. Top income shares estimated from reported incomes deteriorated during the Second World War, even if Portugal did not take active participation in the conflict. However, the magnitude of the drop was less important than in other European countries. The level of concentration between 1950 and 1970 remained relatively high compared to countries such as Spain, France, UK or the United States. The decrease in income concentration, started very moderately at the end of the 1960s and which accelerated after the revolution of 1974, began to be reversed during the first half of the 1980s. During the last fifteen years top income shares have increased steadily. The rise in wage concentration contributed to this process in a significant way. The evidence since 1989 suggests that the level of marginal tax rate at the top has not been the primary determinant of the level of top reported incomes. Marginal rates have stayed constant in a context of growing top shares.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00586795.

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Date of creation: Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00586795
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  1. Daniel R. Feenberg & James M. Poterba, 1993. "Income Inequality and the Incomes of Very High-Income Taxpayers: Evidence from Tax Returns," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 145-177 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Vieira, J.A.C. & Couto, J.P.A. & Tiago, M.T.B., 2006. "Inter-regional Wage Dispersion in Portugal," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 6(1).
  3. Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2006. "Wage mobility: do institutions make a difference?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 387-404, June.
  4. Santiago Budria & Pedro Telhado Pereira, 2007. "The wage effects of training in Portugal: differences across skill groups, genders, sectors and training types," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 787-807.
  5. Emmanuel Saez & Michael R. Veall, 2005. "The Evolution of High Incomes in Northern America: Lessons from Canadian Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 831-849, June.
  6. Hartog, Joop & Pereira, Pedro T. & Vieira, José António Cabral, 1999. "Inter-industry Wage Dispersion in Portugal: high but falling," IZA Discussion Papers 53, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Cardoso, Ana Rute, 1998. "Earnings Inequality in Portugal: High and Rising?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(3), pages 325-43, September.
  8. Pedro Carneiro, 2008. "Equality of opportunity and educational achievement in Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 17-41, April.
  9. Ana Rute Cardoso, 1999. "Firms' wage policies and the rise in labor market inequality: The case of Portugal," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 87-102, October.
  10. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2000. "Does Education Reduce Wage Inequality? Quantile Regressions Evidence from Fifteen European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 120, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Makler, Harry M, 1976. " The Portuguese Industrial Elite and Its Corporative Relations: A Study of Compartmentalization in an Authoritarian Regime," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 495-526, April.
  12. Olga Cantó & Juan F. Jimeno & Ana Rute Cardoso & Mario Izquierdo & Carlos Farinha Rodrigues, . "Integration and Inequality: Lessons from the Accessions of Portugal and Spain to the EU," Working Papers 2000-10, FEDEA.
  13. Marja Riihelä & Risto Sullström & Matti Tuomala, 2005. "Trends in Top Income Shares in Finland," Discussion Papers 371, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  14. Miguel Gouveia & Carlos Farinha Rodrigues, 1999. "The impact of a "Minimum Guaranteed Income Program" in Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 1999/03, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  15. Cardoso, Ana Rute, 1997. "Workers or Employers: Who Is Shaping Wage Inequality?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(4), pages 523-47, November.
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