This figure rises to 16% in the POF and 19% in the Census, which is something closer to what we obtain in the DIRPF. These signs were ignored, however, because of the prevailing interpretation that there was a systematic decline in inequality.
To determine the differences in the country's absolute income levels, Graphs 2 and 3 present the Pen's parades (quantile curves) of the combined PNAD and DIRPF distributions between 2006 and 2012.
data comes from the DIRPF, the absolute differences begin to grow rapidly.
In 2012, those earning over 226,938 reais annually, in June 2014 values, would belong to the richest 1% of the population, as measured by interpolated DIRPF data but close to the observed data.
The distribution of total income was obtained by combining data from the PNAD and the DIRPF. To undertake this combination, it was necessary to determine a merging point for the two databases, i.e., a threshold below which the distribution would be represented by the PNAD data and above which it would be represented by the DIRPF data.
In the DIRPF distribution, the 25 million returns are ordered from highest to lowest income, part of which has its exact values determined by interpolation within the ranges of tabulated data.
In 2012, income tax returns were mandatory for those with annual incomes over R$ 27,443 (2014 values), which is equivalent to the 87th percentile in the 2012 DIRPF distribution.
Up to the 85th percentile, the PNAD values are higher than the DIRPF values.
Of course, when the merging point becomes very high, the DIRPF comes to account for a much smaller part of the distribution and inequality thus comes to reflect that measured in the PNAD.
When the merging point is the 90th percentile, i.e., when incomes above the last percentile of the PNAD are substituted by the DIRPF, inequality remains high, the appropriation of growth results remains concentrated, and the trend of the Gini coefficient over time shows a decline of approximately 3% in the six years that are the subject of our analysis.
An alternative way of constructing the distribution of income in Brazil would be to combine the DIRPF data with sources other than the PNAD.
Consequently, merging the DIRPF and the PNAD tend to generate the lowest levels of inequality among the possible alternatives available.