The Long‐Run History of Income Inequality in Denmark

28 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016

See all articles by Anthony B. Atkinson

Anthony B. Atkinson

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Jakob Egholt Søgaard

University of Copenhagen

Date Written: April 2016

Abstract

We use historical publications and micro data from tax returns to construct internationally comparable estimates of the development in income inequality in Denmark over the last 140 years. The study shows that income inequality and top income shares have declined during several distinct phases in between periods of stability. Furthermore, the quality of the Danish data allows us to analyse not only the development in top income shares but also broader inequality measures such as the Gini coefficient. These analyses show that top income shares are a good proxy for the underlying development in inequality.

Keywords: Denmark, income distribution, income inequality, taxation, top incomes

JEL Classification: D31, H2, J3, N3

Suggested Citation

Atkinson, Anthony B. and Søgaard, Jakob Egholt, The Long‐Run History of Income Inequality in Denmark (April 2016). The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 118, Issue 2, pp. 264-291, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2752207 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sjoe.12143

Anthony B. Atkinson (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Jakob Egholt Søgaard

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

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