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Top earners: cross-country facts

Author

Listed:
  • Badel, Alejandro

    () (Georgetown University and Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Daly, Moira

    () (Copenhagen Business School)

  • Huggett, Mark

    () (Georgetown University)

  • Nybom, Martin

    () (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)

Abstract

We provide a common set of life-cycle earnings statistics using administrative data from the United States, Canada, Denmark and Sweden. Three qualitative patterns are common across countries: (1) the earnings distribution above the median fans out with age, (2) the extreme right tail of the earnings distribution becomes thicker with age, and (3) the growth rate of earnings over the working lifetime is larger for groups with higher lifetime earnings. Models of top earners should account for these qualitative patterns and, importantly, for how they quantitatively differ across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Badel, Alejandro & Daly, Moira & Huggett, Mark & Nybom, Martin, 2017. "Top earners: cross-country facts," Working Paper Series 2017:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2017_009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. repec:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/696225 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings; inequality; top earners; top incomes;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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