March 2007

IZA DP No. 2672: Top Incomes in Sweden during Three-Quarters of a Century: A Micro Data Approach

published in: Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2008, 32 (6), 963-976

This paper aims to throw light on the development of top incomes in Sweden as well as the causes for change. Using household income data we show that since the first half of the 1980s, real income at the top of the distribution has developed more favourably than for other groups. This contrasts with the changes which occurred prior to the 1980s. Reasons for the rise in the top income share are several: the development of stock prices, the tax reform which made income taxes not progressive at the top of the scale, and the labour market change of top wages increasing more rapidly than others.