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Top income shares in Canada: recent trends and policy implications

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  • Michael R. Veall

Abstract

According to Canadian taxfiler data, over the last thirty years there has been a surge in the income shares of the top 1%, top 0.1% and top 0.01% of income recipients, even with longitudinal smoothing by individual using three- or five-year moving averages. Top shares fell in 2008 and 2009, but only by a fraction of the overall surge. Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario have much more pronounced surges than other provinces. Part of the Canadian surge is likely attributable to U.S. factors, but a comprehensive explanation remains elusive. Even so, I draw implications for policies that might achieve some support from across the political spectrum, including the elimination of tax preferences that favour those with high incomes, the promotion of shareholder democracy and, to maintain Canada's relatively high intergenerational mobility, continued wide accessibility to healthcare and education.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1247-1272

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:45:y:2012:i:4:p:1247-1272

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Cited by:
  1. Kao-Lee Liaw & Lei Xu, 2013. "Changes in Wage Distributions of Wage Earners in Canada: 2000-2005," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 451, McMaster University.
  2. Beach, Charles M., 2014. "What Has Happened to Middle-Class Earnings? Distributional Shifts in Earnings in Canada, 1970-2005," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Mar 2014.
  3. Osberg, Lars, 2013. "Instability implications of increasing inequality: Evidence from North America," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 918-930.
  4. Christoph Schinke, 2014. "Government Ideology, Globalization, and Top Income Shares in OECD Countries," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 181, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  5. Andrew Sharpe & Evan Capeluck, 2012. "The Impact of Redistribution on Income Inequality in Canada and the Provinces, 1981-2010," CSLS Research Reports 2012-08, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  6. Salvatore Morelli & Timothy Smeeding & Jeffrey Thompson, 2014. "Post-1970 Trends in Within-Country Inequality and Poverty: Rich and Middle Income Countries," CSEF Working Papers 356, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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