The Beaman Distribution: A New Descriptive Model for the Size Distribution of Incomes

  • Fiona C. Maclachlan
  • John E. Reith


A new two-parameter descriptive model for the size distribution of incomes is presented. The Beaman distribution, originally found to describe the relationship between prices and sales volumes of textiles and related products, is shown to fit closely US Census data on individual incomes over the past twenty years. The two parameters of the model represent the minimum and median levels of income. An important advantage of the Beaman distribution over other two-parameter models is that negative incomes can be accounted for.