Economics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional and academic economists and analysts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm interested in income and social mobility. I understand that Piketty's research deals with the the distribution of income over a long time period. I have also seen some of Chetty and Saez's research concerning income and social mobility in the US. I'm wondering, what data do Chetty and Saez work use? What other data is potentially available and how far back does it go?

It would be nice to see who could find the data that goes back the farthest. (Also, the data does not necessarily have to be US data.)

share|improve this question
The PSID is standard, I'm guessing you want something longer? – jayk Nov 21 '14 at 2:01
I emailed the team behind the linked article, let's see if I get a response. :) – Jason Nichols Nov 21 '14 at 17:15
Both graphs come from federal tax return data. This has to come through the IRS, and in the past I've been told that you can get this data "but only if you basically sign over your soul." Understandably people have privacy concerns about the IRS handing over their tax returns to researchers en masse. – jayk Nov 21 '14 at 21:36
Also, I'm pretty sure you need security clearance and hence US citizenship. – FooBar Nov 22 '14 at 18:12
On this subject, – jayk Nov 24 '14 at 17:12

Maybe check Clark's work. He allegedly uses long time series.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.