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The Middle Class Throughout the World in the Mid-2000s


  • Steven Pressman


This paper updates and extends my earlier work on how the middle class fares throughout the world based on the microdata sets that comprise the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS). Wave #6 LIS data, recently released and centered around 2004, provides an opportunity to assess what has happened to the size of the middle class around the world in the early 2000s. In contrast to the 1980s and 1990s, there was no noticeable decline in the middle class during the early 2000s. The paper provides further evidence that the size of the middle class in each nation depends mainly on government tax and spending policies. In particular, it shows the key role played by family allowances and paid family leave in supporting a national middle class.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Pressman, 2010. "The Middle Class Throughout the World in the Mid-2000s," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 243-262.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:1:p:243-262
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624440112

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    Cited by:

    1. Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (ed.), 2013. "Gegen eine rückwärtsgewandte Wirtschaftspolitik. Jahresgutachten 2013/14," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201314.
    2. Robert Scott & Steven Pressman, 2013. "Household Debt and Income Distribution," LIS Working papers 589, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Javalgi, Rajshekhar (Raj) G. & Grossman, David A., 2016. "Aspirations and entrepreneurial motivations of middle-class consumers in emerging markets: The case of India," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 657-667.

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