NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Facundo Alvaredo

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Working Papers

May 2013The Top 1 Percent in International and Historical Perspective
with Anthony B. Atkinson, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez: w19075
The top 1 percent income share has more than doubled in the United States over the last thirty years, drawing much public attention in recent years. While other English speaking countries have also experienced sharp increases in the top 1 percent income share, many high‐income countries such as Japan, France, or Germany have seen much less increase in top income shares. Hence, the explanation cannot rely solely on forces common to advanced countries, such as the impact of new technologies and globalization on the supply and demand for skills. Moreover, the explanations have to accommodate the falls in top income shares earlier in the twentieth century experienced in virtually all high‐income countries. We highlight four main factors. The first is the impact of tax policy, which has varied ...

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