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The Dynamics of Income Gaps in Metropolitan France (1984-2002)


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  • Luc Behaghel



The broad stability of income gaps observed in metropolitan France between 1984 and 2002 masks local divergences. First, outside the Paris region, the gap consistently narrowed between urban clusters and peri-urban and rural areas. Second, within these three different spatial categories, inequalities seem to move on different paths: their growth is stronger in urban clusters than in peri-urban and rural areas. The catch-up in peri-urban and rural areas is explained by the fact that they became more similar to urban clusters in terms of socio-occupational composition and had more favorable employment trends. It is harder to offer a statistical explanation for the contrasting trends in income dispersion within each spatial category. However, there is one robust result: the growing disperion in urban clusters is partly due to the ever-sharper contrasts in their populations' socio-occupational composition and employment access.

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Article provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques in its journal Economie et Statistique.

Volume (Year): 415-416 (2009)
Issue (Month): (March)
Pages: 97-120.

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Handle: RePEc:crs:ecosta:es415-416f

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Keywords: Income Dispersion; Spatial Inequality; Inequality Decomposition;

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  1. Cowell, F.A., 2000. "Measurement of inequality," Handbook of Income Distribution, Elsevier, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 87-166 Elsevier.
  2. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  3. Thomas Le Jeannic, 1996. "Une nouvelle approche territoriale de la ville," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, Programme National Persée, vol. 294(1), pages 25-45.
  4. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  5. Luc Behaghel, 2006. "La dynamique des inégalités de revenu en France rurale et urbaine (1984-2002)," Research Unit Working Papers, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA 0611, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
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