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On the Measurement of Long-Run Income Inequality: Empirical Evidence from Norway, 1875-2013

Author

Listed:
  • Aaberge, Rolf

    () (Statistics Norway)

  • Atkinson, Tony

    (Nuffield College, Oxford)

  • Modalsli, Jorgen Heibo

    () (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

In seeking to understand inequality today, a great deal can be learned from history. However, there are few countries for which the long-run development of income inequality has been charted. Many countries have records of incomes, taxes and social support. This paper presents a new methodology constructing income inequality indices from such data. The methodology is applied to Norway, for which rich historical data sources exist. Taking careful account of the definition of income and population and the availability of micro data starting in 1967, an upper and lower bound for the pre-tax income Gini coefficient is produced.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaberge, Rolf & Atkinson, Tony & Modalsli, Jorgen Heibo, 2017. "On the Measurement of Long-Run Income Inequality: Empirical Evidence from Norway, 1875-2013," IZA Discussion Papers 10574, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10574
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anthony B. Atkinson & Jakob Egholt Søgaard, 2016. "The Long-Run History of Income Inequality in Denmark," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 118(2), pages 264-291, April.
    2. Rolf Aaberge & Anthony B. Atkinson & Jørgen Modalsli, 2013. "The ins and outs of top income mobility," Discussion Papers 762, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2016. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," NBER Working Papers 22945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Daniele Checchi & Cecilia García-Peñalosa, 2010. "Labour Market Institutions and the Personal Distribution of Income in the OECD," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(307), pages 413-450, July.
    5. Aaberge, Rolf, et al, 2000. " Unemployment Shocks and Income Distribution: How Did the Nordic Countries Fare during Their Crises?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 77-99, March.
    6. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2016. "Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality since 1700," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10670.
    7. Alstadsaeter, Annette & Jacob, Martin & Kopczuk, Wojciech & Telle, Kjetil, 2016. "Accounting for Business Income in Measuring Top Income Shares: Integrated Accrual Approach Using Individual and Firm Data from Norway," CEPR Discussion Papers 11671, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Aaberge, Rolf, 1997. "Interpretation of changes in rank-dependent measures of inequality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 215-219, August.
    9. Christian A. Belabed, 2016. "Inequality and the New Deal," IMK Working Paper 166-2016, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    10. Anthony B. Atkinson & Salvatore Morelli, 2014. "Chartbook of economic inequality," Working Papers 324, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    11. Budd, Edward C, 1970. "Postwar Changes in the Size Distribution of Income in the U.S," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 247-260, May.
    12. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2016. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," NBER Working Papers 22945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2010. "Earnings Inequality and Mobility in the United States: Evidence from Social Security Data Since 1937," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 91-128.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income; inequality; distribution; Norway; long-run changes;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

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