Economics at your fingertips  

Gini and undercoverage at the upper tail: a simple approximation

Pablo Gutiérrez Cubillos ()
Additional contact information
Pablo Gutiérrez Cubillos: University of British Columbia

International Tax and Public Finance, 2022, vol. 29, issue 2, No 7, 443-471

Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the impact of top-distribution undercoverage on the Gini coefficient. First, we show that failing to correct for underreporting and nonresponse at the top does not necessarily result in an underestimated Gini coefficient. Then, we establish analytical conditions under which the Gini coefficient of the uncorrected distribution is higher than the Gini coefficient of the true distribution, i.e. the distribution that incorporates underreporting and/or nonresponse. In addition, we propose a Gini approximation based on the Atkinson approximation $$G=G_{1-p}\cdot (1-S_{p})+S_{p}$$ G = G 1 - p · ( 1 - S p ) + S p to correct for underreporting at the top. Under plausible assumptions, the approximation proposed is very close to the real Gini coefficient. We also show that before correcting for underreporting we need to first address the issue of nonresponse as otherwise the approximation may be strongly upper biased. Finally, this work proposes a procedure to estimate the fraction of nonrespondents at the very top under the assumption that underreported incomes belong to individuals with incomes higher than those reported in a household survey. To evaluate the proposed methodologies, this paper uses Chile and Canada as examples, where we include undistributed business profits—an underreported source of income—to measure income inequality.

Keywords: Gini coefficient; Nonresponse; Tax avoidance; Underreporting; Undistributed business profits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C13 C83 D13 H26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... ce/journal/10797/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s10797-021-09671-4

Access Statistics for this article

International Tax and Public Finance is currently edited by Ronald B. Davies and Kimberly Scharf

More articles in International Tax and Public Finance from Springer, International Institute of Public Finance Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2023-01-03
Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:29:y:2022:i:2:d:10.1007_s10797-021-09671-4