Top Incomes in Brazil, 1933-2012: A Research Note

17 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2014

See all articles by Pedro Souza

Pedro Souza

Universidade de Brasília (UnB)

Date Written: December 11, 2014


This research note presents estimates of top income shares for Brazil based on tax return data from 1933 to 2012, as well as a brief overview of personal income taxation in the country. I also discuss some of the major methodological challenges, especially pertaining to data availability, and contrast my preferred top incomes series with alternative possibilities as a robustness check. The main results do not suggest any clear-cut pattern towards rising or declining inequality over time. Income concentration at the top ebbs and flows at generally very high levels.

Keywords: income distribution, income tax, top incomes, income inequality, Brazil

JEL Classification: D3, N36

Suggested Citation

Souza, Pedro, Top Incomes in Brazil, 1933-2012: A Research Note (December 11, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Pedro Souza (Contact Author)

Universidade de Brasília (UnB) ( email )

Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro
Asa Norte
Brasília, Distrito Federal 70910-900
556181232513 (Phone)

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