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Women in Top Incomes: Evidence from Sweden 1974–2013

Listed author(s):
  • Boschini, Anne

    ()

    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Gunnarsson, Kristin

    ()

    (Uppsala University)

  • Roine, Jesper

    ()

    (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

Using a large, register-based panel data set we study gender differences in top incomes in Sweden over the period 1974–2013. We find that, while women are still a minority of the top decile group, and make up a smaller share the higher up in the distribution we move, their presence has steadily increased in all top groups over the past four decades. Top income women are wealthier and rely more on capital incomes, but the difference, relative to men, has decreased since the 1970s. Over this period capital incomes have in general become more important in the top, but the share of working-rich women has gone up, while the opposite is true for men. Realized capital gains are more important for top income women but turn out to be of a more transitory nature than for men. Mobility is generally higher for top income women compared to top income men but the trend since the 1990s is toward increased gender equality in this respect too. Finally, we find important differences between top income women and men in terms of marital status and family composition. Overall, our results suggest that many of the findings in the top income literature have a clear gender component and that understanding gender equality in the top of the distribution requires studying not only earnings and labour market outcomes but also incomes from other sources.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10979.

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Length: 68 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10979
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  1. Gustafsson, Siv, 1992. "Separate Taxation and Married Women's Labor Supply: A Comparison of West Germany and Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(1), pages 61-85, February.
  2. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
  3. Guvenen, Fatih & Kaplan, Greg & Song, Jae, 2014. "The Glass Ceiling and the Paper Floor: Gender Differences among Top Earners, 1981–2012," Working Papers 716, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
  5. Roine, Jesper & Waldenstrom, Daniel, 2008. "The evolution of top incomes in an egalitarian society: Sweden, 1903-2004," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 366-387, February.
  6. Azmat, Ghazala & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Gender and the labor market: What have we learned from field and lab experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 32-40.
  7. Anthony Atkinson & Thomas Piketty, 2010. "Top Incomes : A Global Perspective," Post-Print halshs-00754875, HAL.
  8. Jesper Roine & Daniel Waldenström, 2012. "On The Role Of Capital Gains In Swedish Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(3), pages 569-587, September.
  9. Bengtsson, Niklas & Holmlund, Bertil & Waldenström, Daniel, 2012. "Lifetime versus Annual Tax Progressivity: Sweden, 1968–2009," IZA Discussion Papers 6641, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Albrecht, James & Skogman Thoursie, Peter & Vroman, Susan, 2015. "Parental leave and the glass ceiling in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2015:4, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  11. Nina Smith & Valdemar Smith & Mette Verner, 2013. "Why are So Few Females Promoted into CEO and Vice President Positions? Danish Empirical Evidence, 1997–2007," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(2), pages 380-408, April.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
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  14. Atkinson, A. B. & Piketty, Thomas (ed.), 2010. "Top Incomes: A Global Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199286898.
  15. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2007. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 163-186, January.
  16. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
  17. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
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  19. Thomas Piketty, 2003. "Income Inequality in France, 1901-1998," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1004-1042, October.
  20. 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.
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