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On the identification of the “middle class”

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Author Info

  • Anthony B. Atkinson

    ()
    (Nuffield College)

  • Andrea Brandolini

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

The paper examines the identification of the “middle class” using data from LIS and LWS. It first considers definitions based purely on income, examining the rationale for different approaches and illustrating the implications for changes over time. It argues that the concept of “class” requires the examination of other dimensions beyond income. The paper considers the role of property and, drawing on the sociological literature, of occupations.

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File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2011-217.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 217.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-217

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Web page: http://www.ecineq.org
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Related research

Keywords: class structure; income distribution;

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References

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  1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2008. "What Is Middle Class about the Middle Classes around the World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 3-28, Spring.
  2. Burkhauser, Richard V, et al, 1999. "Testing the Significance of Income Distribution Changes over the 1980s Business Cycle: A Cross-National Comparison," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 253-72, May-June.
  3. Milanovic, Branko & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2001. "Decomposing world income distribution : does the world have a middle class ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2562, The World Bank.
  4. Andreas Peichl, 2007. "Measuring richness," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2007 06, Stata Users Group.
  5. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Andrea Brandolini & Silvia Magri & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2010. "Asset-based measurement of poverty," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 755, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Joseph Eisenhauer, 2008. "An Economic Definition of the Middle Class," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 103-113, January.
  8. Markus M. Grabka & Joachim R. Frick, 2008. "The Shrinking German Middle Class: Signs of Long-Term Polarization in Disposable Income?," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 4(4), pages 21-27.
  9. Beach, Charles M. & Chaykowski, Richard P. & Slotsve, George A., 1997. "Inequality and polarization of male earnings in the United States, 1968-1990," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 135-151.
  10. Antonio Estache & D. Leipziger, 2009. "Stuck in the Middle: Is Fiscal Policy Failing the Middle Class?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44102, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Michal Brzezinski, 2010. "Income Affluence in Poland," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 285-299, November.
  12. Marcelo Medeiros, 2006. "The Rich and the Poor: The Construction of an Affluence Line from the Poverty Line," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 1-18, 08.
  13. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl, 2010. "Progressive Taxation and Tax Morale," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 01-06, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  2. Mustafa Yavuz Cakir & Alain Kabundi, 2011. "Trade Shocks from BRIC to South Africa: A Global VAR Analysis," Working Papers 250, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  3. Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico, 2011. "Multidimensional Affluence: Theory and Applications to Germany and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Durr-e-Nayab, 2011. "Estimating the Middle Class in Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2011:77, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  5. Lukas Schlogl & Andy Sumner, 2014. "How Middle Class are the ‘Emerging Middle’ or ‘Scooter Class’ in Indonesia? A Household Asset Approach to Social Stratification," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201407, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised May 2014.

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