Top Incomes Over the Twentieth Century: A Contrast Between Continental European and English-Speaking Countries

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Professor Faculty of Economics and Politics A B Atkinson, A. B. Atkinson, T. Piketty, Thomas Piketty
OUP Oxford, May 10, 2007 - Business & Economics - 585 pages
Based on a pioneering research programme on the evolution of top incomes, this volume brings together studies from 10 OECD countries. This rapidly growing field of economic research investigates the top segment of the income distribution by using data from income tax records over the past century. As well as describing the source data and methods employed, the authors also discuss the dramatic changes that have occurred at the top of the income scale throughout the 20th century. This fascinating study is the first of its kind to provide a comprehensive historic overview of top income distribution over the last century. It looks at why top incomes shares fell markedly in the first half of the 20th century and why, more recently, there has been a striking difference in the top income distribution between continental Europe and English-speaking OECD countries, like the UK, USA, and Australia. Written by the top names in the field, this seminal work provides rich pickings for those with an interest in inequality, development, the economic impact of war, taxation, economic history, and executive compensation.

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A Summary of Main Findings
Methodological Issues
3 Income Wage and Wealth Inequality in France 190198
4 The Distribution of Top Incomes in the United Kingdom 19082000
5 Income and Wage Inequality in the United States 19132002
6 The Evolution of High Incomes in Canada 19202000
7 The Distribution of Top Incomes in Australia
8 The Distribution of Top Incomes in New Zealand
10 Top Incomes in the Netherlands over the Twentieth Century
11 Income and Wealth Concentration in Switzerland over the Twentieth Century
12 LongTerm Trends in Top Income Shares in Ireland
13 Towards a Unified Data Set on Top Incomes

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About the author (2007)

Sir Tony Atkinson has been Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford, from 1994 to 2005. He was previously Tooke Professor at the London School of Economics, and founder Editor of the Journal of Public Economics. He has previously been President of the Econometric Society, of the European Economic Association, the Royal Economic Society, and the International Economic Association.

Thomas Piketty is the New York Times best-selling author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press) and a Professor of Economics at PSE and EHESS, Paris. He earned his PhD in 1993 at EHESS and LSE (European Doctoral Programme) and taught at MIT's Economics Department from 1993 to 1996, before returning to France. Thomas is also co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics and co-director of CEPR Public Policy Programme.

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