Abstract: Paper No. 8

Testing the Significance of Income Distribution Changes Over the 1980s Business Cycle: A Cross-National Comparison

Richard V. Burkhauser, Amy D. Crews, Mary C. Daly, and Stephen P. Jenkins

June 1997

Abstract:  Using kernel density estimation we describe the distribution of household size-adjusted real income and how it changed over the business cycle of the 1980s in the United States and the United Kingdom. We confirm previous studies that show income inequality increased in the two countries and the middle of the distribution was squashed down. Using a series of statistical tests, however, we find that while the mass in both tails of the distribution increased significantly in both countries over the period, by far the greatest gains were in the upper tail.

A revised version of this paper is forthcoming in Journal of Applied Economics. Those interested in this work should see that journal.