Capital Gains and the Top 0.01 Percent

The following two graphs look at the capital gains of high income earners but they need a little explanation. Capital gains are a volatile component of personnel income. For example, depending on what is happening in the stock market capital gains can make up a relatively large or small part of the total income. Also capital gain tend to be realized in a lumpy way. Every year there are families who have a one-time jump in income due to the sale of a house, a business or some other assets like stocks. In these cases the income for those families might qualify them for the Top 1%, Top 0.1%, or Top 0.01% but only for a single year. When you are choosing which families are members of the high-income "super rich" you have to make a decision whether to include capital gains when you rank the families by personnel income before calculating the share of income that is capital gains. The blue graph excludes capital gains when determining the top 0.01%, the purple graph includes capital gains when determining the top 0.01%

Capital Gains Income of top 0.01 percent

The income data can be found on Emmanuel Saez's web site.


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