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Assessing inequality using percentile shares

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2016
Author Jann Ben,
Project Ungleichheit der Einkommen und Vermögen in der Schweiz von 1970 bis 2010
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal The Stata Journal
Volume (Issue) 16(2)
Page(s) 264 - 300
Title of proceedings The Stata Journal


At least since Thomas Piketty's best-selling Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014, Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press), percentile shares have become a popular approach for analyzing distributional inequalities. In their work on the development of top incomes, Piketty and collaborators typically report top-percentage shares, using varying percentages as thresholds (top 10%, top 1%, top 0.1%, etc.). However, analysis of percentile shares at other positions in the distribution may also be of interest. In this article, I present a new command, pshare, that estimates percentile shares from individual-level data and displays the results using histograms or stacked bar charts.