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View Diary: Top 1% income share in world history (11 comments)

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  •  Your figure for the U.S. in 2013 (0+ / 0-)

    isn’t compatible with the other modern figures in the paper.  The share of total U.S. income going to the top 1% in 2000 as shown in charts like this one (from this article), which is generally compatible with your figure, is clearly far more than the 6.6% given in the paper on the basis of the LIS database.  Despite the labels, the authors are clearly measuring something different from what is measured by your 22.5% figure.  I’ll go further: I’m pretty sure that if the LIS database that they’re using extended to 2013, the authors’ figure for the U.S. in 2013 would still be in single digits.

    What this means is that if the authors’ modern figures are genuinely comparable with their historical figures, your 22.5% figure is seriously misleading, because it’s measuring something different from the other figures in the table.

    It may be necessary to read the whole paper carefully in order to see whether this is the case; I don’t know whether I’ll have the time or interest to wade through it.

    •  Thanks for the help! (0+ / 0-)

      I think you are right, so I edited the notes to acknowledge your points.  
      I wonder how the NBER paper's estimate of US top 1% income in 2000 is so far below all the other estimates I can find?  Clearly they are excluding most income.  The fact that our 1% is so skilled at creating new financial instruments to compensate themselves may be a symptom of growing income inequality.  
      So the best estimates of top 1% share of income that I can find are reflected in the list.  

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