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New Views on Inequality Trends in Canada and the United States

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  • Murphy, Brian Wolfson, Michael
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    Abstract

    Conventional wisdom has it that U. S. society is both richer and more unequal than Canadian society, and that both have become more unequal in recent decades. It is true that earnings inequality increased in both countries from 1974 to 1985. However, in the 1985 to 1995 period, while generally rising in the United States, earnings inequality fell marginally in Canada. At the same time, perhaps surprisingly, polarization-the spreading out of the earning distribution away from the median- fell over the past decade in both nations. Adding in the role of government income taxes and transfers, families' disposable incomes became more equal in Canada, but more unequal in the United States. Finally, a large portion of Canadian families had absolutely higher purchasing power than their U. S. counterparts.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 1998124e.

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    Date of creation: 08 Jul 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:1998124e

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    Related research

    Keywords: Labour; Income; pensions; spending and wealth; Wages; salaries and other earnings; Household; family and personal income; Low income and inequality; Personal and household taxation;

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    Cited by:
    1. Beach, Charles M. Finnie, Ross Gray, David, 2006. "Summary Of: The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on the Instability and Long-Run Inequality of Workers' Earnings in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006269e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. Giancarlo Corsetti & John Flemming & Seppo Honkapohja & Willi Leibfritz & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Xavier Vives, 2002. "Growth and Productivity," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2002(CESIFOFOR), pages 57-70, 04.
    3. Heisz, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Picot, Garnett, 2002. "Winners and Losers in the Labour Market of the 1990s," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002184e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    4. Michael R. Smith, 2001. "Technological Change, the Demand for Skills, and the Adequacy of their Supply," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-22, March.
    5. Michael Smith, 2001. "What have the FTA and the NAFTA done to the Canadian labor market?," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 25-50, March.
    6. Frenette, Marc Green, David A. Picot, Garnett, 2004. "Croissance de l'inegalite du revenu pendant les annees 1990 : exploration de trois sources de donnees," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2004219f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
    7. Rene Morissette & Xuelin Zhang & Marie Drolet, 2004. "The Evolution of Wealth Inequality in Canada, 1984-1999," Microeconomics 0401004, EconWPA.
    8. James A. Yunker, 2003. "Capital Wealth Inequality and Public Bads: A Mathematical Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 105-119, Winter.
    9. Heisz, Andrew, 2007. "Income Inequality and Redistribution in Canada: 1976 to 2004," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007298e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    10. Frenette, Marc Green, David A. Milligan, Kevin, 2006. "Revisiting Recent Trends in Canadian After-Tax Income Inequality Using Census Data," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006274e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    11. Picot, Garnett, 1998. "Le point sur l'inegalite des gains et sur la remuneration des jeunes durant les annees 90," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 1998116f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
    12. Heisz, Andrew, 2007. "Inegalite et redistribution du revenu au Canada : 1976 a 2004," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2007298f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
    13. Andrew Heisz & Andrew Jackson & Garnett Picot, 2001. "Distributional Outcomes in Canada During the 1990s," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress, in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2001: The Longest Decade: Canada in the 1990s, volume 1 Centre for the Study of Living Standards & The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
    14. Eric G. Moore & Michael A. Pacey, 2003. "Changing Income Inequality and Immigration in Canada, 1980­1995," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(1), pages 33-51, March.
    15. Morissette, Rene Zhang, Xuelin Drolet, Marie, 2002. "The Evolution of Wealth Inequality in Canada, 1984-1999," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002187e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    16. Heisz, Andrew Larochelle-Cote, Sebastien, 2003. "Working Hours in Canada and the United States," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003209e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    17. Matthias Lücke, 1999. "Sectoral Value Added Prices, TFP Growth, and the Low-Skilled Wage in High-Income Countries," Kiel Working Papers 923, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    18. Picot, Garnett, 1998. "What is Happening to Earnings, Inequality and Youth Wages in the 1990s?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998116e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    19. Robert I. Lerman, 1999. "U.S. Wage-Inequality Trends and Recent Immigration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 23-28, May.
    20. Myles, John Picot, Garnett, 2005. "Income Inequality and Low Income in Canada: an International Perspective," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005240e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.

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