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GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Canada

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    Compared to many modern economies, the overall level of income inequality in Canada has been relatively high since 1980 and grown steadily since. Specifically, the Gini coefficient for household incomes grew from 0.37 in 1980 to 0.45 by 2009. The largest gains in incomes occurred at the very top of the income distribution. Overall, those in the middle of the income distribution were relatively unaffected. There were consequences for the poor, however. Most of the rise in inequality occurred during the 1990s, a period in Canadian history marked by government cuts to spending with the goal of tackling a huge public. Other important contributors to changes in inequality in Canada are a decline in large-scale manufacturing, which has been progressively replaced by lower paying service industry jobs, a decline in government expenditures as a proportion of GDP, and changes to the tax structure that favoured the rich. In short, Canadian governments became increasingly less concerned with social spending and redistribution from the 1990s onwards and focussed instead on decreasing Canada’s huge public debt.

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    Paper provided by AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies in its series GINI Country Reports with number canada.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:aia:ginicr:canada
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    1. Ross Finnie & Ian Irvine, 2011. "The Redistributional Impact of Canada's Employment Insurance Program, 1992-2002," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 37(2), pages 201-218, June.
    2. Myles, John, 2000. "The Maturation of Canada's Retirement Income System: Income Levels, Income Inequality and Low Income Among the Elderly," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000147e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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    8. Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 163-190, Winter.
    9. Daniel Béland & John Myles, 2005. "Stasis Amidst Change: Canadian Pension Reform in an Age of Retrenchment," Chapters, in: Ageing and Pension Reform Around the World, chapter 12 Edward Elgar.
    10. Ronald D. Kneebone & Katherine G. White, 2009. "Fiscal Retrenchment and Social Assistance in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 35(1), pages 21-40, March.
    11. Gunnell, David & Middleton, Nicos & Whitley, Elise & Dorling, Daniel & Frankel, Stephen, 2003. "Why are suicide rates rising in young men but falling in the elderly?--a time-series analysis of trends in England and Wales 1950-1998," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 595-611, August.
    12. Mishra, Sandeep & Lalumière, Martin, 2009. "Is the crime drop of the 1990s in Canada and the USA associated with a general decline in risky and health-related behavior?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 39-48, January.
    13. Paul Martin, 1996. "The Canadian experience in reducing budget deficits and debt," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 11-25.
    14. J. Stephen Ferris & Stanley L. Winer, 2007. "Just How Much Bigger Is Government in Canada? A Comparative Analysis of the Size and Structure of the Public Sectors in Canada and the United States, 1929­2004," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(2), pages 173-206, June.
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