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Funded Research

How Accessible is the Top? The Changing Rigidity of High Incomes and Earnings

This project will assess the changing permeability of top income and earnings positions, providing new estimates of how common it is for a person to reach the top of the income/earnings distribution in their lifetime and whether access to these top positions has changed over time. We expand upon a long-standing literature that has focused on the bottom of the income distribution, i.e. on poverty dynamics, and correct prior, likely biased estimates of the dynamics of affluence. We use new data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Social Security Administration earnings records, IRS income tax records.


Sage, Russell, Foundation

Funding Period:

01/01/2016 to 12/31/2019