Lecture Series June 2018: Ben Jann › view all

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

June 13, 2018 - 16:15h/4:15pm
University of Bremen, UNICOM, House 7, Conference Room (7.3280)
Mary-Somerville-Str. 7
28359 Bremen
Series: Social Sciences Lecture Series
Event type: public

Ben Jann, Professor at the University of Bern, gives a talk on "Assessing inequality using percentile shares. An application to Swiss tax data" in the BIGSSS Lecture Series at 16:15hrs on June 13th, 2018. The talk takes place at University of Bremen, Unicom-Building, BIGSSS Conference Room (7.3280).



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.


About the BIGSSS Lecture Series:

Each semester the Graduate School invites a mix of established and young scholars to present their work to the students and the faculty of the School as well as to the wider interested public. Taking place every other week, the Lecture Series is the central meeting point for the entire Graduate School and provides an excellent opportunity for engaging in intensive, interdisciplinary, scholarly debate.