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Sources and References


Overall inequality: 2002-2014: earlier figures for Gini coefficient of equivalised (modified OECD scale) disposable household income from website of INSEE, Les niveaux de vie en 2010, Tableau 1;  the most recent observations, from Les niveaux de vie en 2014, Figure 2, being adjusted downward using a forward proportional link at 2010 and 2012 to deal with a change in methodology; linked at 2002 to earlier figures from Godefroy et al (2009, Table 1); linked again at 1996 to earlier INSEE figures in Revenue et Patrimoine des Ménages, édition 1999, p32, Table 10), linked backwards at 1970 to series on gross income (excluding certain categories of income) from Concialdi (1997, Table 11.11), and finally linked again to earlier years at 1962 to figures retrieved from WIID data referring to UN-ECE-1967 source (household taxable income).

Top income shares: Share of top 1 per cent in total gross income (individuals, excluding capital gains) from Based on the work of Garbinti, Goupille-Lebret, and Piketty, 2016a. The series is based on micro-files of income tax returns for years post 1970 years and on income tax tabulations for earlier years (non-taxable income sources are accounted for). Figures replace tax record series from Piketty (2001) up to 1997 (updated from 1998 to 2006, in Landais (2007) and from 2007 onwards by F. Alvaredo and T. Piketty). The base unit is the individual but resources are split equally within couples. See also Garbinti, Goupille-Lebret, and Piketty, 2016a for a comparison of results based on pre-tax national income (the sum of all pretax personal income flows accruing to the owners of the production factors, labor and capital, after taking into account the distribution of pension income but before any other tax or transfer).

Poverty measures: Percentage of individuals living in households with equivalised (EU scale) disposable income below 60 per cent of the median (urban France) from INSEE, Tableaux de l’économie française édition 2017, section 5.5 Niveaux de vie – Pauvreté, p65, Taux de pauvreté table, with additional observations taken from Revenue, niveaux de vie, et pauvreté en 2012, ERFS – INSEE Résultats No. 164, Taux de pauvreté – Séries longues 1996-2012, table TPA60_01.  ; Similarly to what done for the Gini coefficient, the most recent observations were adjusted downward using a forward proportional link at 2010 and 2012 (when the method of calculation was revised).

Dispersion of earnings: Earnings at top decile as percentage of median earnings, from the Annual wages: distributions and evolutions time series available at the INSEE website (D9/D5 interdecile ratio of the Distribution of salaries for  full-time jobs by gender section, downloaded 27 February 2017).

Wealth inequality: Share of top 1 per cent in total individual net wealth from, (see Garbinti, Goupille-Lebret, and Piketty, 2016b). The series, is based on estate multiplier method based on inheritance tax data for pre-1970 period and on “a mixed capitalization method based on income tax data and household surveys” (p. 3) for the period following 1970. The series replaces the share of top 1 per cent in total estates at death from Piketty, Postel-Vinay and Rosenthal (2004, Table A7).


  • Boiron, A, Labarthe, J, Richet-Mastain, L, and Bonnin, M Z, 2015, “Lesw niveaux de vie en 2013”, Insee Première No 1566, INSEE, Paris.
  • Concialdi, P, 1997, “Income distribution in France : The mid-1980s turning point” in P Gottschalk, B Gustafssson and E Palmer, editors, Changing patterns in the distribution of economic welfare: An international perspective, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Godefroy, P, Pujol, J, Raynaud, E and Tomasini, M, 2009, “Inégalités de niveau de vie et mesures de la pauvreté en 2006”, INSEE website.
  • Garbinti,B, Goupille-Lebret, J, and Piketty, T, 2016a, “Income Inequality in France, 1900-2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts (DINA)”, unpublished manuscript.
  • Garbinti,B, Goupille-Lebret, J, and Piketty, T, 2016b, “Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France (1800-2014)”, unpublished manuscript.
  • Landais, C, 2007, “Les hauts revenus en France 1998-2006: Une explosion des inégalités?”, Paris School of Economics Working Paper.
  • Piketty, T, 2001, Les hauts revenus en France au 20ème siècle, Grasset, Paris.
  • Piketty, T, 2003, “Income inequality in France, 1901-1994”, Journal of Political Economy, vol 111: 1004-1042.  
  • Piketty, T, Postel-Vinay, G and Rosenthal, J-L, 2004, “Wealth concentration in a developing economy: Paris and France, 1807-1994”, CEPR Working Paper 4631, Centre for Economic Policy Research, London.