The distribution of top earnings

30 March 2010


Authors: A. B. ATKINSON,S. VOITCHOVSKY DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.2010.00846.x


Much of the change in individual earnings has occurred at the top. This paper provides new evidence about the earnings distribution in the UK. The evidence is new in that it provides detail about what has happened within the top 10%, covering groups such as the top 1% and the top 0.5%. The aim is to set the recent rise in top earnings in historical perspective, and to make international comparisons. The evidence is new in that it covers the whole of the postwar period, allowing a contrast to be drawn with the ‘golden age’ of the 1950s.