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Income Inequality over the Later-Life Course: A Comparative Analysis of Seven OECD Countries

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  • Robert L. Brown
  • Steven G. Prus
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    Abstract

    This paper examines income inequality over stages of the later-life course (age 45 and older) and systems that can be used to mitigate this inequality. Two hypotheses are tested: (i) Levels of income inequality decline during old age because public benefits are more equally distributed than work income; (ii) Because of the progressive nature of government benefits, countries with stronger public income security programs are better able to reduce income inequalities during old age. The analysis is performed by comparing age groups within seven OECD countries (Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States) using Luxembourg Income Study data. Both hypotheses are supported. Several conclusions are drawn from the findings.

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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap154.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 154.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:154

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    Keywords: retirement; income dynamics; comparative analysis; public pensions;

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    References

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    1. Lars Osberg, 1998. "Economic Insecurity," Discussion Papers 0088, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
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    Cited by:
    1. Souza, Pedro H.G.F., 2013. "The Decline in Inequality In Brazil, 2003-2009: The Role Of The State," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt33q062zj, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    2. Arber, Sara & Fenn, Kirsty & Meadows, Robert, 2014. "Subjective financial well-being, income and health inequalities in mid and later life in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 12-20.
    3. Carlos Farinha Rodrigues & Isabel Andrade, 2013. "The Age-Old Problem of Old Age Poverty in Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2013/27, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
    4. Bérangère Legendre, 2011. "La croissance du revenu des retraités en Europe peut-elle être considérée comme pro-pauvres ?," Post-Print hal-00951721, HAL.
    5. repec:ese:iserwp:2007-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2007. "Using the P90/P10 Index to Measure US Inequality Trends with Current Population Survey Data: A View from Inside the Census Bureau Vaults," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 699, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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