How Closely do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?

15 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2007

See all articles by Andrew Leigh

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House; Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU; IZA

Abstract

In recent years, researchers have used taxation statistics to estimate the share of total income held by the richest groups, such as the top 10% or the top 1%. Compiling a standardized top income shares dataset for 13 developed countries, I find that there is a strong and significant relationship between top income shares and broader inequality measures, such as the Gini coefficient. This suggests that panel data on top income shares may be a useful substitute for other measures of inequality over periods when alternative income distribution measures are of low quality, or unavailable.

Suggested Citation

Leigh, Andrew, How Closely do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?. The Economic Journal, Vol. 117, No. 524, pp. F619-F633, November 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1032370 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2007.02099.x

Andrew Leigh (Contact Author)

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House ( email )

Canberra, 2600
Australia

Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU ( email )

ANU College of Business and Economics
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

IZA ( email )

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