Seminario Applied

Stephen Jenkins

London School of Economics


Seminar 1 – 14:30


We provide the first systematic comparison of estimates of UK inequality derived from tax data (World Top Incomes Database) and household survey data (the Households Below Average Income subfile of the Family Resources Survey). We document by how much existing survey data underestimate top income shares relative to tax data and then, exploiting the flexibility provided by access to unit-record survey data, we derive new top-income- adjusted data that enable us to: better track tax-data-estimated top income shares; change the definitions of income and income ‘sharing unit’ used and thereby undertake more comparable cross-national comparisons (we provide a UK-US illustration); and examine UK inequality levels and trends using four summary indices. Our estimates reveal a greater rise in the inequality of equivalised gross household income between the mid-1990s and late-2000s than shown by the corresponding Households Below Average Income series, especially between 2004/05 and 2007/08.

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