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