Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Dale W. Jorgenson, J. Steven Landefeld, and Paul Schreyer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226121338

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226121475.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Trends in the Distribution of Household Income, 1979–2010

Trends in the Distribution of Household Income, 1979–2010

(p.181) 7 Trends in the Distribution of Household Income, 1979–2010
Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress

Edward Harris

Frank Sammartino

University of Chicago Press

Numerous studies have found that the distribution of income in the United States has become increasingly unequal—in particular, the share of income accruing to the highest-income households has increased, whereas the share accruing to other households has declined. The primary source for information on the income distribution in the United States is the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS). In an influential paper, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez employed an alternative method, using data from tax returns to examine market income inequality in the United States over almost a century. Each of those data sources has strengths and limitations. This paper presents estimates of the distribution of household income in the United States, derived from a statistical combination of data from the Current Population Survey and from samples of income tax returns. This combined series overcomes some limitations of estimates produced from either the CPS or the income tax data alone: it covers the full population while maintaining the richness at the top of the income distribution, and can yield comprehensive estimates of the effect of the tax and transfer system on the full income distribution.

Keywords:   Current Population Survey, CPS, income distribution, highest-income households, market income inequality, tax returns

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.