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Simplified Distributional National Accounts

Abstract : Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (2018) (hereafter PSZ) propose a method to distribute total national income across individual adults in the United States. The method has recently been applied to a number of countries as reviewed in the World Inequality Report 2018 (Alvaredo et al. 2018). The key advantage relative to earlier work using fiscal income such as Piketty and Saez (2003) or survey data is that the national income concept is comprehensive, homogeneous over time, and comparable across countries. In particular, distributional national income statistics can be used to study both growth and inequality in a consistent framework that aggregates cleanly to national income from national accounts. In contrast, fiscal income or survey income aggregates display growth levels that are quite different from national income growth both in the short-term year-to-year fluctuations and in the long-term growth rates averaged over decades (see PSZ for a detailed discussion).
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Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman. Simplified Distributional National Accounts. 2019. ⟨hal-02877005⟩

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