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Factor Components of Inequality: A Cross-Country Study

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  • Cecilia García-Peñalosa
  • Elsa Orgiazzi

Abstract

This paper uses data from the Luxembourg Income Study to examine some of the forces that have driven changes in household income inequality over the last three decades of the 20th century. We decompose inequality for 6 countries (Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK, and the US) into the three sources of market income (earnings, property income and income from self-employment) and taxes and transfers. Our findings indicate that although changes in the distribution of earnings are an important aspect of recent increases in inequality, they are not the only one. Greater earnings dispersion has in some cases been accompanied by a reduction in the share of earnings that dampened its impact on overall household income inequality. In some countries the contribution of self-employment income to inequality has been on the rise, while in others, increases in inequality in capital income account for a substantial fraction of the observed distributional changes.
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  • Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Elsa Orgiazzi, 2013. "Factor Components of Inequality: A Cross-Country Study," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(4), pages 689-727, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:59:y:2013:i:4:p:689-727
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    Cited by:

    1. Schlenker, Eva & Schmid, Kai D., 2013. "Capital income shares and income inequality in the European Union," FZID Discussion Papers 80-2013, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
    2. Wang, Chen & Caminada, Koen, 2011. "Disentangling income inequality and the redistributive effect of social transfers and taxes in 36 LIS countries," MPRA Paper 32821, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Amparo Castelló-Climent & Rafael Doménech, 2012. "Human Capital and Income Inequality: Some Facts and Some Puzzles," Working Papers 1201, International Economics Institute, University of Valencia.
    4. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Elsa Orgiazzi, 2013. "Factor Components of Inequality: A Cross-Country Study," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(4), pages 689-727, December.
    5. Evridiki Tsounta & Anayochukwu Osueke, 2014. "What is Behind Latin America’s Declining Income Inequality?," IMF Working Papers 14/124, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Miriam Rehm & Kai Daniel Schmid & Dieter Wang, 2014. "Why has Inequality in Germany not Risen Further After 2005?," IMK Working Paper 137-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    7. Grabka, Markus M., 2015. "Income and Wealth Inequality after the Financial Crisis: The Case of Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 371-390.
    8. Gustav A. Horn & Sebastian Gechert & Miriam Rehm & Kai D. Schmid, 2014. "Wirtschaftskrise unterbricht Anstieg der Ungleichheit," IMK Report 97-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    9. Eva Schlenker & Kai Schmid, 2015. "Capital income shares and income inequality in 16 EU member countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 241-268, May.
    10. Elsa Orgiazzi & Paul Maarek, 2010. "Which factor bears the cost of currency crises?," 2010 Meeting Papers 810, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Doan, Ha Thi Thanh & Wan, Guanghua, 2017. "Globalization and the Labor Share in National Income," ADBI Working Papers 639, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    12. Daniele Checchi & Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Lara Vivian, 2016. "Are changes in the dispersion of hours worked a cause of increased earnings inequality?," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-34, December.
    13. Paul Maarek & Elsa Orgiazzi, 2015. "Development and the labor share," THEMA Working Papers 2015-09, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    14. Maarek, Paul, 2012. "Labor share, informal sector and development," MPRA Paper 38756, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Koen Caminada & Jinxian Wang & Kees Goudswaard & Chen Wang, 2017. "Income inequality and fiscal redistribution in 47 LIS-countries, 1967-2014," LIS Working papers 724, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    16. García-Peñalosa, Cecilia & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2015. "Income Inequality, Mobility, And The Accumulation Of Capital," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(06), pages 1332-1357, September.
    17. Koen Caminada & Chen Wang, 2011. "Disentangling Income Inequality and the Redistributive Effect of Social Transfers and Taxes in 36 LIS Countries," LIS Working papers 567, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    18. Paul Maarek & Elsa Orgiazzi, 2014. "Labor Share and development," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201410, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution

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