Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Who Are The Top 1%?

I've been asking for awhile now - who are these top 1% that appear to be stealing from everyone? The common assumption in the blogosphere - at least the left leaning blogosphere - is that they are CEOs. I've always been skeptical, there just aren't enough companies.

Turns out that someone asked the same question, but was smart enough to answer it too.
We consider how much of the top end of the income distribution can be attributed to four sectors – top executives of non-financial firms (Main Street); financial service sector employees from investment banks, hedge funds, private equity funds, and mutual funds (Wall Street); corporate lawyers; and professional athletes and celebrities. Non-financial public company CEOs and top executives do not represent more than 8% of any of the top AGI brackets (the top 0.1%, 0.01%, 0.001%, and 0.0001%). Individuals in the Wall Street category comprise at least as high a percentage of the top AGI brackets as non-financial executives of public companies.
Turns out I was right, there aren't enough CEOs to account for a signifigant number of the top income earners.

Any bets on whether the rhetoric changes to give the much maligned CEOs a break? I didn't think so.

HatTip: Greg Mankiw

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