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Title:Recent trends in top income shares in the USA: reconciling estimates from march CPS and IRS tax return data PDF Logo
Authors:Burkhauser, Richard V.
Feng, Shuaizhang
Jenkins, Stephen P.
Larrimore, Jeff
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 4426
Abstract:Although the majority of research on US income inequality trends is based on public-use March CPS data, a new wave of research using IRS tax return data reports substantially higher levels of inequality and faster growing trends. We show that these apparently inconsistent estimates are largely reconciled if the inequality measure and the income distribution are defined in the same way. Using internal CPS data for 1967-2006, we closely match IRS data-based estimates of top income shares reported by Piketty and Saez (2003). Our results imply that any inequality increases since 1993 are concentrated among the top 1 percent of the distribution.
Subjects:US income inequality
top income shares
March CPS
IRS tax return data
JEL:D31
C81
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-200910141061
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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