Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/18383
Authors: 
Bach, Stefan
Corneo, Giacomo
Steiner, Viktor
Year of Publication: 
2005
Series/Report no.: 
DIW Discussion Papers 532
Abstract: 
We analyze the distribution and taxation of top incomes in Germany during the 1990s on the basis of individual tax returns data. We derive a measure of economic income from taxable gross income as reported in the tax returns. Thanks to complete sampling, we can deliver a very precise description of very high incomes, in terms of both distribution and composition by source. We also provide a measure of the effective average rate of taxation for various income groups. Our main findings are as follows: (i) incomes are highly concentrated in Germany, more than commonly thought; (ii) the German economic elite relies much less than elites in France or the US upon income from wages and salaries; (iii) income taxes are highly concentrated in Germany, more than commonly thought; (iv) although effective tax rates are significantly lower than statutory ones, the income tax is effectively progressive; (v) income taxation substantially reduces income inequality in Germany.
Subjects: 
Income Distribution
Personal Income Tax
Taxing the Rich
JEL: 
D31
H24
H26
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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