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Sources and References


Overall inequality: series 1: Gini coefficient for equivalised disposable household income taken from Lise et al. (2014) – supplementary material – using data from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), linked at 1981 to series from Tachibanaki (2005, Table 1.1) based on the Income Redistribution Survey; series 2: Gini coefficient for household income (pre-tax and transfers and not equivalised) for the pre-second World War period from Minami (1998, Table 4, case (2)) (source also cited by Hayami (1997, Table 7.2) and Moriguchi and Saez (2010, Figure 3.2)).

Top income shares: Share of top 1 per cent in total gross income from WID.world (individuals, excluding capital gains), based on work of Moriguchi and Saez (2010).

Poverty measures: Percentage of individuals in households with equivalised (modified OECD scale) disposable income below 60 per cent of the median from Income Distribution Database in OECD.Stat (accessed 10 April 2017).

Dispersion of earnings: Earnings at top decile as percentage of median earnings, from OECD iLibrary, Employment and Labour Market Statistics, Gross earnings decile ratios (accessed 22 February 2017); linked at 1975 to series computed by Facundo Alvaredo based on work by Moriguchi and Saez (2010), Appendix 3C, covering all employees in the private sector who worked for the same employee throughout a calendar year, excluding temporary workers with job durations below one year, regular employees hired mid-year, government employees and retirees.

Wealth inequality: Gini coefficient for net worth for all population (home-owners and tenants) from Tachibanaki (2005, Table 1.10).


  • Hayami, Y, 1997, Development economics, Clarendon Press, Oxford.
  • Lise, J, Sudo, N, Suzuki, M, Yamada, K and Yamada, T, 2014, “Wage, income  and consumption inequality in Japan, 1981–2008 : From boom to lost decades”, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol 17: 582-612. Supplementary materials.
  • Minami, R, 1998, “Economic development and income distribution in Japan: An assessment of the Kuznets hypothesis”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol 22: 39-58.
  • Moriguchi, C and Saez, E, 2010, “The evolution of income concentration in Japan, 1886-2005: Evidence from income tax statistics” in A B Atkinson and T Piketty, editors, Top income: A global perspective, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Tachibanaki, T, 2005, Confronting income inequality in Japan, MIT Press, Cambridge.