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Income in the United States, Its Amount and Distribution, 1909-1919, Volume II: Detailed Report

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  • Mathematics

Abstract

The Construction of a Frequency Curve for All Income Recipients This PDF is a selection from an out-of-print volume from the National Bureau of Economic Research Volume Title: Income in the United States, Its Amount and Distribution, 1909-1919, Volume II: Detailed Report Volume Author/Editor: Wesley Clair Mitchell, editor Volume Publisher: NBER Volume ISBN: 0-87014-001-9 Volume URL: http://www.nber.org/books/mitc22-1 Publication Date: 1922 Chapter Title: The Construction of a Frequency Curve for All Income Recipients Chapter Author: Frederick R. Macaulay Chapter URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c9429 Chapter pages in book: (p. 424 - 425) '1 CHAPTER 33 The direct and only adequate method of discovering what is the fre- quency distribution of income in the United States would be to define very carefully the terms income and income recipient and then have a care- fully planned census takeit by expert enumerators upon the basis of these definitions. The returns brought in by the enumerators should moreover be sworn to by the persons making them and heavy penalties attached to the making of false or inaccurate returns. A less satisfactory inethL but one which would probably give excellent results would be to have a large number of truly random samples taken by such a census. The results of either procedure could then be adjusted in the light of other statistical information concerning the National Income and also in the light of theo- retical conclusions derived from the data themselves. Constructing an income frequency distribution for all income recipients in the United States from the existing data, a few of whose peculiarities have been noted in the preceding chapters, necessarily involves an ex- tremely large amount of pure guessing. It is only because of the practical value of even the roughest kind of an estimate that any statistician would think of attacking the problem. The method followed in the actual con- struction of the income frequency distribution

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