Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/247240
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
LIS Working Paper Series No. 805
Publisher: 
Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), Luxembourg
Abstract: 
The paper uses the flexibility of household survey data to align their income categories and recipient units with the income categories and units found in data produced by tax authorities. Our analyses, based on a standardized definition of fiscal income, allow us to locate, for top-income groups, the sources of discrepancy. We find, using the cases of the United States, Germany, and France, that the results from survey-based and tax data correspond extremely well (in terms of total income, mean income, composition of income, and income shares) above the 90th percentile and up to the top 1 percent of the distribution. Information about income composition, available in the US, allows us to investigate the determinants of this gap in the US. About three-fourths of the tax/survey gap is due to differences in non-labor incomes, especially self-employment (business) income. The gap itself may be due to tax-induced re-classification of income from corporate to personal or/and to lower ability of surveys to capture top 1 percent incomes.
Subjects: 
Income
inequality
survey data
tax data
JEL: 
D31
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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