EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Survey Under-Coverage of Top Incomes and Estimation of Inequality: What is the Role of the UK’s SPI Adjustment?

Richard Burkhauser (), Nicolas Hérault (), Stephen Jenkins () and Roger Wilkins

No 23539, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Survey under-coverage of top incomes leads to bias in survey-based estimates of overall income inequality. Using income tax record data in combination with survey data is a potential approach to address the problem; we consider here the UK’s pioneering ‘SPI adjustment’ method that implements this idea. Since 1992, the principal income distribution series (reported annually in Households Below Average Income) has been based on household survey data in which the incomes of a small number of ‘very rich’ individuals are adjusted using information from ‘very rich’ individuals in personal income tax return data. We explain what the procedure involves, reveal the extent to which it addresses survey under-coverage of top incomes, and show how it affects estimates of overall income inequality. More generally, we assess whether the SPI adjustment is fit for purpose and consider whether variants of it could be employed by other countries.

JEL-codes: C81 D31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ltv
Note: LS
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Richard V. Burkhauser & Nicolas Hérault & Stephen P. Jenkins & Roger Wilkins, 2018. "Survey Under-Coverage of Top Incomes and Estimation of Inequality: What is the Role of the UK's SPI Adjustment?," Fiscal Studies, vol 39(2), pages 213-240.

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w23539.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Survey Under‐Coverage of Top Incomes and Estimation of Inequality: What is the Role of the UK's SPI Adjustment? (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Survey under-coverage of top incomes and estimation of inequality: what is the role of the UK’s SPI adjustment? (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Survey Under-Coverage of Top Incomes and Estimation of Inequality: What Is the Role of the UK's SPI Adjustment? (2017) Downloads
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: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23539

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w23539

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2020-09-16
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23539