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Zacharias, Ajit
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Working papers // The Levy Economics Institute 342
Empirical studies of intertemporal dynamics of individual income, distribution of personal income, and growth and distribution of national income are all based on statistics that rely on some concept of income. The dominant one today appears to be the so-called Haig-Simons-Hicks (HSH) concept of income. I examine the foundations of this concept in Hicks’s Value and Capital and conclude that there is nothing Hicksian about the HSH concept of income. Furthermore, I argue that Hicks’s failure to distinguish between definition and calculation, and the consequent lack of adequate ex post concepts, make it impossible for his income definitions to serve as a basis for income accounting.
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