Income Shares of the Top 1% in India and Other Countries

Anthony B. Atkinson, Thomas Piketty, and Emmanuel Saez have a paper in the Journal of Economic Literature (Top Incomes in the Long Run of History) that makes a cross-country comparison of the share of incomes of the top 1% and top 0.1% and how it has changed between 1949 and 2005 that makes an interesting read.

Source: Atkinson, Anthony B., Thomas Piketty, and Emmanuel Saez. 2011. “Top Incomes in the Long Run of History.” Journal of Economic Literature, 49(1): 3–71| Data: http://goo.gl/EUDOW

Few years ago, Banerjee and Piketty analyzed the share of income of the top 1% in India between 1922 and 2000. Their main finding: income share of the the top 1% has declined over time, but is again on the rise. Here’s the all-important graph:

Source: Banerjee, Abhijit, and Thomas Piketty. 2005. “Top Indian Incomes, 1922–2000.” World Bank Economic Review, 19(1): 1–20.