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Top-Income Adjustments and Official Statistics on Income Distribution: The Case of the UK

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  • Jenkins, Stephen P.

    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

UK official statistics on income distribution have incorporated top-income adjustments to household survey data since 1992. This article reviews the work undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Office for National Statistics, and the academic research that influenced them, and reflects on the lessons to learn from the UK experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenkins, Stephen P., 2021. "Top-Income Adjustments and Official Statistics on Income Distribution: The Case of the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 14951, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14951
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rolf Aaberge & François Bourguignon & Andrea Brandolini & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Janet C. Gornick & John Hills & Markus Jäntti & Stephen P. Jenkins & Eric Marlier & John Micklewright & Brian Nolan, 2017. "Tony Atkinson and his Legacy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(3), pages 411-444, September.
    2. Dennis Fixler & Marina Gindelsky & David Johnson, 2019. "Improving the Measure of the Distribution of Personal Income," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 302-306, May.
    3. Rafael Carranza & Marc Morgan & Brian Nolan, 2021. "Top Income Adjustments and Inequality: An Investigation of the EU-SILC," Working Papers halshs-03321885, HAL.
    4. Richard Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen Jenkins & Jeff Larrimore, 2009. "Recent Trends in Top Income Shares in the USA: Reconciling Estimates from March CPS and IRS Tax Return Data," Working Papers 09-26, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. 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.
    6. Stephen P. Jenkins, 2017. "Pareto Models, Top Incomes and Recent Trends in UK Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(334), pages 261-289, April.
    7. Dominic Webber & Richard P. Tonkin & Martin Shine, 2020. "Using Tax Data to Better Capture Top Incomes in Official UK Income Inequality Statistics," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Distribution and Mobility of Income and Wealth, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Cowell, Frank A. & Flachaire, Emmanuel, 2007. "Income distribution and inequality measurement: The problem of extreme values," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1044-1072, December.
    9. Thomas Blanchet & Ignacio Flores & Marc Morgan, 2022. "The weight of the rich: improving surveys using tax data," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 20(1), pages 119-150, March.
    10. Richard V. Burkhauser & Nicolas Hérault & Stephen P. Jenkins & Roger Wilkins, 2018. "Survey Under‐Coverage of Top Incomes and Estimation of Inequality: What is the Role of the UK's SPI Adjustment?," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 39(2), pages 213-240, June.
    11. Paul Johnson & Steven Webb, 1989. "Counting people with low incomes: the impact of recent changes in official statistics," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 66-82, November.
    12. Frank A. Cowell, 2008. "Income Distribution and Inequality," Chapters, in: John B. Davis & Wilfred Dolfsma (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, chapter 13, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Brian Nolan, 1989. "An evaluation of the new official low income statistics," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 53-65, November.
    14. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins & Jeff Larrimore, 2012. "Recent Trends in Top Income Shares in the United States: Reconciling Estimates from March CPS and IRS Tax Return Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 371-388, May.
    15. Anton Korinek & Johan Mistiaen & Martin Ravallion, 2006. "Survey nonresponse and the distribution of income," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 4(1), pages 33-55, April.
    16. Richard V Burkhauser & Nicolas Hérault & Stephen P Jenkins & Roger Wilkins, 2018. "Top incomes and inequality in the UK: reconciling estimates from household survey and tax return data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 301-326.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Aitken & Martin Weale, 2022. "Measuring National Income Growth Democratically: Methods and Estimates for the United Kingdom," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2022-17, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    2. Jenkins, Stephen P., 2022. "Getting the Measure of Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 14996, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; income inequality; top incomes; tax return data; survey data; data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

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