The stability of income inequality in Brazil, 2006-2012: an estimate using income tax data and household surveys

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April 2016
Paper author(s): 
Marcelo Medeiros
Pedro Herculano Guimarães Ferreira de Souza
Fábio Ávila de Castro
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness

Object: the level and evolution of income inequality among adults in Brazil between 2006 and 2012. Objectives: to calculate the level of inequality, its trend over the years and the share of income growth appropriated by different social groups. Methodology: We combined tax data from the Annual Personal Income Tax Returns (Declaração Anual de Ajuste do Imposto de Renda da Pessoa Física - DIRPF) and the Brazilian National Household Survey (Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios - PNAD) to construct a complete distribution of total income among adults in Brazil. We applied Pareto interpolations to income tax tabulations to arrive at the distribution within income groups. We tested the results, comparing the PNAD to the Brazilian Consumption and Expenditure Survey (Pesquisa de Orçamentos Familiares - POF) and to data from the Census Subsample Survey (Census. Results: We found evidence that income inequality in Brazil is higher than previously thought and that it remained stable between 2006 and 2012; in making these findings, we thus diverged from most studies on the dynamics of inequality in Brazil.. There was income growth, but the top incomes have appropriated most of this growth.


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