Online Program Home
My Program

Abstract Details

Activity Number: 106 - Administrative Income Data, Survey Data and Inequality
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Monday, July 29, 2019 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Business and Economic Statistics Section
Abstract #300437 Presentation
Title: Using Survey and Tax Data to Evaluate the Distribution of Personal Income
Author(s): David S. Johnson* and Marina Gindelsky and Dennis Fixler
Companies: University of Michigan and Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Economic Analysis
Keywords: inequality; data linkage; personal income

Developing a national account based measure of the distribution of income from the commonly used Census based concept of money income has been the subject of earlier research—see Fixler and Johnson (2014) and Fixler, et al (2015) for example. A limitation of the earlier work is that the extrapolation from the survey data to the national account aggregate was based on “blow-up “factors that were constant across households. In this paper, we use the Current Population Survey (CPS) data that is linked to tax data by household in order to address misreporting and survey bias for several income categories. We find significant differences between the CPS and tax income for the same households, with CPS income greater than tax income for both high and low income households. We further examine these households with different income reports. Finally, we adjust our blow-up factors for the very top of the distribution, and recalculate distributional measures. Using these factors helps bridge the gap between micro data vs. macro statistics and also inform about results from other studies on aggregate income inequality, such as Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (2018).

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

Back to the full JSM 2019 program