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How universal is the law of income distribution? Cross country comparison


  • Kitov, Ivan
  • Kitov, Oleg


The evolution of personal income distribution (PID) in four countries: Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA follows a unique trajectory. We have revealed precise match in the shape of two age-dependent features of the PID: mean income and the portion of people with the highest incomes (2 to 5% of the working age population). Because of the U.S. economic superiority, as expressed by real GDP per head, the curves of mean income and the portion of rich people currently observed in three chasing countries one-to-one reproduce the curves measured in the USA 15 to 25 years before. This result of cross country comparison implies that the driving force behind the PID evolution is the same in four studied countries. Our parsimonious microeconomic model, which links the change in PID only with one exogenous parameter - real GDP per capita, accurately predicts all studied features for the U.S. This study proves that our quantitative model, based on one first-order differential equation, is universal. For example, new observations in Canada, New Zealand, and the UK confirm our previous finding that the age of maximum mean income is defined by the root-square dependence on real GDP per capita.

Suggested Citation

  • Kitov, Ivan & Kitov, Oleg, 2015. "How universal is the law of income distribution? Cross country comparison," MPRA Paper 67145, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:67145

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kitov, Ivan & Kitov, Oleg, 2013. "The dynamics of personal income distribution and inequality in the United States," MPRA Paper 48649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    1. How universal is the law of income distribution? Cross country comparison (post #777)
      by Ivan Kitov in Economics as Classical Mechanics on 2015-10-17 14:11:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Kitov, Ivan & Kitov, Oleg, 2015. "Gender income disparity in the USA: analysis and dynamic modelling," MPRA Paper 67146, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item


    income; evolution; model; country comparison; GDP per capita; USA; UK; New Zealand; Canada;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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