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Fundamental accrued capital gains and the measurement of top incomes: an application to Chile

Abstract

Most previous studies of income inequality have either ignored capital gains or have used taxable realized capital gains to estimate top incomes. Neither of these approaches is fully satisfactory. We apply for the first time a new methodology that allows us to account for fundamental accrued capital gains as part of the top incomes in a theoretically consistent manner. We estimate the shares of the super-rich in Chile showing that accrued capital gains have a large impact on these estimates. Also, the top income shares estimated using fundamental capital gains appear to exhibit a more stable and presumably more plausible time profile than estimates based on capital gains derived from asset market variations.

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Correspondence to Ramón E. López.

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López, R.E., B., E.F. & C., P.G. Fundamental accrued capital gains and the measurement of top incomes: an application to Chile. J Econ Inequal 14, 379–394 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-016-9337-3

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Keywords

  • Inequality
  • Fundamental accrued capital gains
  • Top incomes