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Working Paper

Is Inequality Underestimated in Egypt? Evidence from House Prices

HOUSEHOLD INCOMES INDICATOR FUNCTION HOUSEHOLD SURVEY HOUSEHOLD SIZE INCOME SHARE ITS INCOME INTEREST POVERTY RATES SALARY EMERGING ECONOMIES EXCHANGE ECONOMIC REVIEW LABOR FORCE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DISTRIBUTION OF INCOME POSITIVE VALUE MORTGAGE WORLD DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS LINEAR MODEL POLICY DISCUSSIONS SALARIES HOUSEHOLD SURVEY DATA STANDARD PRACTICE PRICE TAX INCOME TAX CREDIT CARD SAVING DEVELOPED COUNTRIES ECONOMIC ANALYSIS SURVEY SAMPLE POPULATION CENSUS BETWEEN-GROUP INEQUALITY SAVINGS MORTGAGES RURAL HOUSEHOLDS LABOR FORCE SURVEYS MEDIAN INCOME WAGE HOUSEHOLD HEAD INEQUALITY MEASURES REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE INCOME INEQUALITY AVERAGE INCOME GROUP MEANS GINI INDEX CROSS-COUNTRY REGRESSION INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON HOUSEHOLD INCOME HIGH INCOME HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURE INDICATORS INCOME LEVELS MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES PRODUCT INEQUALITY COMPONENT REAL ESTATE AVERAGE RATE INCOME DATA EMPIRICAL APPLICATION EQUITY CONSUMPTION INEQUALITY ESTIMATES CUMULATIVE DISTRIBUTION POPULATION SHARE MORTGAGE MARKETS HIGH INCOMES DEPENDENT VARIABLE DISTRIBUTION FUNCTION HOUSEHOLD DATA INCOME DISTRIBUTIONS LINEAR RELATIONSHIP CONSUMPTION SURVEY DEVELOPING WORLD MEAN INCOME FUNCTIONAL FORM INCOME DISTRIBUTION TOTAL POPULATION INCOME COUNTRIES INCOMES INEQUALITY COUNTRIES REPRESENTATIVE “SAMPLE SHARES DOWNWARD BIAS EARNING RENTAL VALUE SURVEYS INEQUALITY MEASURE INCREASING FUNCTION CUMULATIVE DISTRIBUTION FUNCTION ECONOMIC INEQUALITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GROUP INEQUALITY INCOME STATISTICS SHARE DEVELOPING ECONOMY INCOME SHARES SAMPLING SURVEY DATA EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE MEASURES OF POVERTY HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURES POLICY RESEARCH EXCHANGE RATE MEASURING INEQUALITY ARBITRAGE POPULATION SUB-GROUP HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURE PRICES INCOME LEVEL INEQUALITY
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Middle East and North Africa | Egypt, Arab Republic of
2016-07-07T21:47:43Z | 2016-07-07T21:47:43Z | 2016-06

Household income surveys often fail to capture top incomes which leads to an underestimation of income inequality. A popular solution is to combine the household survey with data from income tax records, which has been found to result in significant upward corrections of inequality estimates. Unfortunately, tax records are unavailable in many countries, including most of the developing world. In the absence of data from tax records, this study explores the feasibility of using data on house prices to estimate the top tail of the income distribution. In an application to Egypt, where estimates of inequality based on household surveys alone are low by international standards, the study finds strong evidence that inequality is indeed being underestimated by a considerable margin. The Gini index for urban Egypt is found to increase from 36 to 47 after correcting for the missing top tail.

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