Gerald Auten is Senior Research Economist in the Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of the Treasury. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan and was Professor of Economics at Bowling Green State University before coming to Treasury. He has published articles on income measurement and tax policy in journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics, National Tax Journal and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Recent research with David Splinter of the Joint Committee on Taxation suggests that recent top income shares are significantly lower than those claimed by Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (2018), and that there has been relatively little change since 1960, though a modest increase since 1980. This research estimates that the top 1 percent’s share of after-tax income rose from about 8.4 percent in 1979 to 10.1 percent in 2015—an increase less than a third as large than Piketty, Saez, and Zucman claim.