Improving the Measure of the Distribution of Personal Income (PDF)

Developing a national account-based measure of the distribution of income from the commonly used Census based concept of money income has been the subject of earlier research. We use publicly available survey and administrative data to construct a distribution of personal income after enhancing the top income distribution in the Current Population Survey (2007 and 2012). We show that inequality measures are fairly sensitive to the definition of income contemporaneously and across time. This work helps bridge the gap between micro data and macro statistics and informs about results from other studies, such as Piketty et al. (2018).

Dennis J. Fixler , Marina Gindelsky , and David Johnson

JEL Code(s) D31 E01 Published