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Top Income Inequality in the 21st Century: Some Cautionary Notes

Author

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  • Fatih Guvenen
  • Greg Kaplan

Abstract

We revisit recent empirical evidence about the rise in top income inequality in the United States, drawing attention to four key issues that we believe are critical for an informed discussion about changing inequality since 1980. Our goal is to inform researchers, policy makers, and journalists who are interested in top income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Fatih Guvenen & Greg Kaplan, 2017. "Top Income Inequality in the 21st Century: Some Cautionary Notes," NBER Working Papers 23321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23321
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Cooper & John McClelland & James Pearce & Richard Prisinzano & Joseph Sullivan & Danny Yagan & Owen Zidar & Eric Zwick, 2016. "Business in the United States: Who Owns It, and How Much Tax Do They Pay?," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 91-128.
    2. 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.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & James M. Poterba, 1987. "Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 1-28 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jesse Bricker & Alice Henriques & Jacob Krimmel & John Sabelhaus, 2016. "Measuring Income and Wealth at the Top Using Administrative and Survey Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(1 (Spring), pages 261-331.
    5. Jon Bakija & Adam Cole & Bradley Heim, 2008. "Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-22, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jan 2012.
    6. Owen Zidar & Eric Zwick & Danny Yagan & Matthew Smith, 2017. "Capitalists in the 21st Century," 2017 Meeting Papers 1064, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Emmanuel Saez, 2012. "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (Updated with 2009 and 2010 estimates)," Technical Notes 201202, World Inequality Lab.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2017. "Consumption and income inequality in the US since the 1960s," AEI Economics Working Papers 953873, American Enterprise Institute.
    2. Pogorelskiy, Kirill & Traub, Stefan, 2017. "Skewness, Tax Progression, and Demand for Redistribution : Evidence from the UK," CRETA Online Discussion Paper Series 29, Centre for Research in Economic Theory and its Applications CRETA.
    3. Wolfgang Keller & William W. Olney, 2017. "Globalization and Executive Compensation," Department of Economics Working Papers 2017-04, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Feb 2018.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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