Call for Papers: Special Issue of Journal of Economic Inequality

Finding the Upper Tail:

Empirical Strategies and Methods for the Top of the Distribution

One of the challenges in inequality measurement concerns measurement at the top of the distribution when it is imperfectly observed in the data. Household surveys usually do not capture the top very well because of sampling-design, data-collection and data-preparation problems. Upper-tail issues matter for inequality measurement and thus also for the ability to properly assess the role of fiscal policy for distributional outcomes.

Recent years have witnessed a variety of proposed approaches aimed at addressing problems of the upper tail. Some rely entirely on information about surveyed incomes (consumption or wealth) and some use additional information from tax records, National Accounts, rich lists and other sources to replace, complement or correct surveys. Other approaches instead focus on method enhancement, which involves the use of weighting schemes or parametric approximations.

The Journal of Economic Inequality is soliciting submissions for a special issue, “Finding the Upper Tail”, aimed at publishing research that specifically addresses these and related questions. The objectives of this issue are to provide outstanding examples of existing approaches, to compare advantages and limitations of alternative methodologies, and to share expert views on what should be done in light of the uncertainties implied by the approaches proposed in the literature.

Papers will be selected on the basis of scientific merit and will undergo regular peer review. However, to ensure a timely publication of the special issue, the Editorial Board will rigorously screen submissions and reviewers will be encouraged to make clear Accept/Reject recommendations and limit requests for revisions.  We therefore urge authors to pay particular attention to detail and to submit potential “publication-ready” papers. 

Special issue editors: Frank Cowell, Nora Lustig and Daniel Waldenström

Submissions accepted from July 1 to December 15, 2020

Expected special issue publication date (in print): Fall 2021.

Submissions must be made online at  (select ‘Special Issue: Finding the Upper Tail’ when prompted for Article Type).