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Top incomes in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom over the 20th Century

Atkinson, Anthony B. and Salverda, Wiemer (2005) Top incomes in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom over the 20th Century. Journal of the European Economic Association, 3 (4). pp. 883-913. ISSN 1542-4766

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Identification Number: 10.1162/1542476054430816


A method is developed for using income-tax data to investigate the evolution of the highest incomes over virtually the entire 20th century. The income shares of the top 10, 5, 1, 0.5, 0.1, and 0.05 percent are analysed for the UK and the Netherlands. For considering the top shares among themselves the "Pareto–Lorenz coefficient" is proposed. Between the two countries, the top shares appear to undergo a strikingly similar and strong decline up to the mid-1970s. Since then British top shares have increased significantly while Dutch shares remained basically unchanged. This outcome parallels similar results for the US and France obtained by Piketty and Saez and poses interesting questions for research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2005 Wiemer Salverda and Anthony B. Atkinson
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N34 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: 1913-
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2011 12:12
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2024 03:45

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