Top Incomes and Human Well-Being Around the World

59 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2016

See all articles by Richard V. Burkhauser

Richard V. Burkhauser

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM); University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute

Jan‐Emmanuel De Neve

University of Oxford

Nattavudh Powdthavee

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 28, 2015

Abstract

The share of income held by the top 1 percent in many countries around the world has been rising persistently over the last 30 years. But we continue to know little about how the rising top income shares affect human well-being. This study combines the latest data to examine the relationship between top income share and different dimensions of subjective well-being. We find top income shares to be significantly correlated with lower life evaluation and higher levels of negative emotional well-being, but not positive emotional well-being. The results are robust to household income, individual’s socio-economic status, and macroeconomic environment controls.

Keywords: top income, life evaluation, well-being, income inequality, World Top Income Database, Gallup World Poll

JEL Classification: D63, I3

Suggested Citation

Burkhauser, Richard V. and De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel and Powdthavee, Nattavudh, Top Incomes and Human Well-Being Around the World (December 28, 2015). Saïd Business School WP 2015-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2714405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2714405

Richard V. Burkhauser (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
161 Barry Street
Carlton, VIC 3053
Australia

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Nattavudh Powdthavee

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44(0)7990815924 (Phone)

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