SOEPpapers on multidisciplinary panel data research 451
This paper examines the evolution of top incomes in Germany from 1907-2007 with a special focus on past decades. A more detailed analysis of German top incomes is conducted, beginning with a review of selected income distribution measures which indicate that high incomes have played a significant role for income divergence in recent years. Based on new data it is shown that top income shares have indeed increased substantially in the recent past, a process which is mainly due to a relative rise in employment rather than capital income within the top income groups. Finally, some theories explaining high incomes of the working rich are discussed.
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