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Handbook of Income Distribution by Francois Bourguignon, Anthony B. Atkinson

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8.4.2.8 Changes in Top Income Shares as Proxies for the Overall Income Distribution

We discussed above how top income shares, as measured using tax statistics, may not be fully represented within household survey data. However, changes in top shares may still be informative about the dynamics of the income distribution as a whole, especially if much of the action is at the top, as suggested by the burgeoning literature on top incomes.

The analysis of data in this chapter highlighted how different measures of inequality generally result in similar impressions of how inequality has changed and which countries have the most unequal distributions of income, whether based on the entire distribution or only on top-income households. For instance, ...

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