What Accounts for the Rising Share of Women in the Top 1%?

49 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020

See all articles by Richard V. Burkhauser

Richard V. Burkhauser

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

Nicolas Herault

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Stephen P. Jenkins

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Social Policy and Administration; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Roger Wilkins

University of Melbourne

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2020

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.

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Suggested Citation

Burkhauser, Richard V. and Herault, Nicolas and Jenkins, Stephen P. and Wilkins, Roger, What Accounts for the Rising Share of Women in the Top 1%? (June 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27397, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3632624

Richard V. Burkhauser (Contact Author)

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

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
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University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute ( email )

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Australia

Nicolas Herault

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/researcher/person125238.html

Stephen P. Jenkins

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Social Policy and Administration ( email )

Houghton Street
London, England WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
+44 120 687 3374 (Phone)
+44 120 687 3151 (Fax)

Roger Wilkins

University of Melbourne

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