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Rising top-income persistence in Australia: evidence from income tax data

Hérault, Nicolas, Hyslop, Dean, Jenkins, Stephen P. ORCID: 0000-0002-8305-9774 and Wilkins, Roger (2022) Rising top-income persistence in Australia: evidence from income tax data. Review of Income and Wealth. ISSN 0034-6586

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Identification Number: 10.1111/roiw.12628


Using income tax administrative data for Australia, we examine levels and trends in the persistence in top-income group membership, focusing on the top 1 percent. Top-income persistence increased markedly between 1991 and 2018, with most of the increase occurring in the mid-2000s and early 2010s. In the mid- to late-2010s, Australian top-income persistence rates were near the top of the range of tax-data estimates for other countries. We decompose the increase into factors associated with (i) changes in the composition of the top-income group and (ii) increases in persistence rates for specific population subgroups. We find that the rise in top-income persistence is accounted for by changes in subgroup persistence rates, notably for individuals aged 35–64, and especially those aged 55–64. We suggest that these effects are partially related to increases in the effective retirement age over the relevant period.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C8 - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs > C81 - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 16:24
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2023 12:12

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