Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

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Assessing inequality using percentile shares. An application to Swiss tax data

Thursday, 2016/04/28, 16:00


At least since Thomas Piketty’s best-selling “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, percentile shares have become a popular approach for analyzing economic inequalities, as percentile shares permit an intuitive and easy-to-understand description income or wealth distributions. In their work on the development of top incomes, Piketty and collaborators typically report top-percentage shares, using varying percentages as thresholds (top 10%, top 1%, top 0.1%, etc.). However, analysis of percentile shares at other positions in the distribution may also be of interest. In particular, series of percentile shares, defined as differences between Lorenz ordinates, can be used to visualize whole distributions or to track down detailed changes in distributions over time. In this talk I will discuss the estimation and graphical presentation of percentile shares and I will present a new Stata command that provides a comprehensive implementation of the percentile share methodology. Application of the methodology will be illustrated using individual-level tax data from Switzerland.

Event organizer: ISPM Bern
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Ben Jann, Institute of Sociology, University of Bern
Date: 2016/04/28
Time: 16:00 Time
Locality: Seminarraum, Finkenhubelweg 11 (1st Floor)
ISPM Hauptgebäude
Finkenhubelweg 11
3012 Bern
Characteristics: open to the public
free of charge