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What accounts for the rising share of women in the top 1%?

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  • Burkhauser, Richard V.
  • Hérault, Nicolas
  • Jenkins, Stephen P.
  • Wilkins, Roger

Abstract

The share of women in the top 1% of the UK’s income distribution has been growing over the last two decades (as in several other countries). Our first contribution is to account for this secular change using regressions of the probability of being in the top 1%, fitted separately for men and women, in order to contrast between the sexes the role of changes in characteristics and changes in returns to characteristics. We show that the rise of women in the top 1% is primarily accounted for by their greater increases (relative to men) in the number of years spent in full-time education. Although most top income analysis uses tax return data, we derive our findings taking advantage of the much more extensive information about personal characteristics that is available in survey data. Our use of survey data requires justification given survey under-coverage of top incomes. Providing this justification is our second contribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhauser, Richard V. & Hérault, Nicolas & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Wilkins, Roger, 2020. "What accounts for the rising share of women in the top 1%?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 575, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:575
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    7. 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.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. What Accounts for the Rising Share of Women in the Top 1%?
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2020-07-21 17:46:52
    2. What Accounts for the Rising Share of Women in the Top 1%?
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2020-07-01 14:43:12

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    2. Ellie Benton & Anne Power, 2021. "CASE Annual Report 2020," CASE Reports casereport136, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Top 1%; top incomes; inequality; gender differences; survey under-coverage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • 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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