Top Incomes: A Global Perpsectives

ISBN : 9780198727743

A. B. Atkinson; Thomas Piketty
800 ページ
156 x 235 mm

A rapidly growing area of economic research investigates the top of the income distribution using data from income tax records. This volume brings together studies of top incomes for twelve countries from around the world, including China, India, Japan, Argentina and Indonesia. Together with the first volume, published in 2007, the studies cover twenty two countries. They have a long time span, the earliest data relating to 1875 (for Norway), allowing recent developments to be placed in historical perspective. The volume describes in detail the source data and the methods employed. It will be an invaluable reference source for researchers in the field. Individual country chapters deal with the specific nature of the data for each of the countries, and describe the long-term evolution of top income shares. In the countries as a whole, dramatic changes have taken place at the top of the income distribution. Over the first part of the century, top income shares fell markedly. This largely took the form of a reduction in capital incomes. The different authors examine the impact of the First and Second World Wars, contrasting countries that were and were not engaged. They consider the impact of depressions and banking crises, and pay particular attention to the impact of progressive taxation. In the last 30 years, the shares of top incomes have increased markedly in the US and other Anglo-Saxon countries, reflecting the increased dispersion of earnings. The volume includes statistics on the much-discussed top pay and bonuses, providing a global perspective that discusses important differences between countries such as the lesser increase in Continental Europe. This book, together with volume 1, documents this interesting development and explores the underlying causes. The findings are brought together in a final summary chapter by Atkinson, Piketty and Saez.


1. Top Indian Incomes, 1922-2000
2. Income inequality and progressive income taxation in China and India, 1986-2015
3. The evolution of income concentration in Japan, 1886-2005: Evidence from income tax statistics
4. Top incomes in Indonesia, 1920-2004
5. Top incomes in a rapidly growing economy: Singapore
6. The rich in Argentina over the twentieth century 1932-2004
7. Top Incomes in Sweden over the twentieth century
8. Trends in top income shares in Finland
9. Top incomes in Norway
10. Income and wealth concentration in Spain in a historical and fiscal perspective
11. Top incomes and earnings in Portugal 1936-2005
12. Top incomes in Italy 1974-2004
13. Top incomes in the long run of history


Sir Tony Atkinson is Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Nuffield College, of which he was Warden from 1994 to 2005. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and has been President of the Royal Economic Society, of the Econometric Society, of the European Economic Association, and of the International Economic Association.

Ralph Aaberge, Research Department, Statistics Norway
Facundo Alvaredo, University of Oxford
Anthony B. Atkinson, Nuffield College, Oxford
Abhijit Banerjee, MIT
Markus Jäntti, Stockholm University
Andrew Leigh, Australian National University
Chiaki Moriguchi, Northwestern University
Thomas Piketty, Paris School of Economics
Elena Pisano, University of Rome La Sapienza
Nancy Qian, Brown University
Marja Riihelä, Government Institute for Economic Research
Jesper Roine, Stockholm School of Economics
Emmanuel Saez, University of California-Berkeley
Risto Sullströmand, Government Institute for Economic Research
Matti Tuomala, University of Tampere
Pierre van der Eng, Australian National University
Daniel Waldenström, Research Institute of Industrial Economic