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Historical perspectives on income distribution: The case of Europe

In: Handbook of Income Distribution

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  • Morrisson, Christian
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    Abstract

    The evolution of income distribution over two centuries is an attractive topic because it allows one to test the inverse U-curve hypothesis using long series instead of cross-section data. In Section 1 the distribution trends in countries where global data are available, is considered, that is in four Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, the German states and Germany, and in France. The inverse U-curve hypothesis is verified in four of them. Section 2 presents in a consistent framework, using the Theil indicator, all available information on inequality trends between agricultural and nonagricultural sectors and on inequality trends within each sector in European countries. Finally Section 3 throws light on the political and economic factors explaining the long-term evolution of distribution. The economic factors playing a key role are the market structures, the diffusion of education and saving, and dualism.

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    This chapter was published in:

  • A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), 2000. "Handbook of Income Distribution," Handbook of Income Distribution, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, 00.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Income Distribution with number 1-04.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:incchp:1-04

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

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