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Consumption and Income Inequality: The Case of Atlantic Canada from 1969­1996

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  • Urvashi Dhawan-Biswal
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    Abstract

    In this paper we re-examine inequality in Canada with a comprehensive look at inequality trends in Atlantic Canada during the period 1969 to 1996. We use consumption expenditure as a measure of family well-being and compare it with the income-based measures of well-being. The results of this study reveal the following: (a) consumption distribution is more equal than the income distribution; (b) inequality trends are sensitive to how family resources are measured; (c) consumption inequality in Atlantic Canada fluctuated considerably until the mid-1980s; and (d) tax and transfer policies have played an important role in reducing income disparities in Atlantic Canada as well as in the rest of Canada. Overall, consumption inequality has continually been lower in Atlantic Canada in comparison to the rest of Canada. The paper also examines the role of key socio-demographic factors using a decomposition methodology.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 513-537

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    Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:28:y:2002:i:4:p:513-537

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    1. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
    2. Robert K. Triest, 1998. "Has Poverty Gotten Worse?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 97-114, Winter.
    3. Charles M. Beach, 1974. "Cyclical Sensitivity of Aggregate Income Inequality," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 162, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    4. Mookherjee, Dilip & Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1982. "A Decomposition Analysis of the Trend in UK Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 886-902, December.
    5. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1997. "Consumption, inequality and income uncertainty," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W97/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1998. "Did We Lose the War on Poverty?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 79-96, Winter.
    7. Jenkins, S., 1988. "The Measurement Of Economic Inequality," Papers, Australian National University - Department of Economics 170, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
    8. Morissette, Rene, 1995. "Why Has Inequality in Weekly Earnings Increased in Canada?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995080e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    9. Shelley A. Phipps, 1998. "What Is The Income "Cost Of A Child"? Exact Equivalence Scales For Canadian Two-Parent Families," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 157-164, February.
    10. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1993. "Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-38, February.
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