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GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Denmark


  • C. Bjørnskov
  • I. Neamtu
  • N. Westergård-Nielsen


This paper gives an account of economic inequality in Denmark from the 1980s until 2010. It is based on register data for the whole population and enables us to map the entire Danish income distribution year by year for all sorts of sub groups. The Danish income distribution has for very long been comparatively equally distributed with a relatively small difference between the lowest and the highest incomes and with a relatively high earnings mobility. However this changes slowly towards a more unequal income distribution over the investigated years. Thus, the Gini coefficient of disposable household income increased from 25% in the 1980s to around 30% in 2006. The Great Recession had a temporary negative impact on the Gini coefficient. It is found that the tax and transfer system has a huge impact on the distribution of incomes. While the Gini coefficient of the raw incomes is about 46% in 2010 it is only 30% after tax and transfers for the entire population.

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  • C. Bjørnskov & I. Neamtu & N. Westergård-Nielsen, 2012. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Denmark," GINI Country Reports denmark, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aia:ginicr:denmark

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. AndrewE. Clark & Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergård-Nielsen, 2009. "Job Satisfaction and Co-worker Wages: Status or Signal?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 430-447, March.
    2. John Cullis & John Hudson & Philip Jones, 2011. "A Different Rationale for Redistribution: Pursuit of Happiness in the European Union," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 323-341, April.
    3. Gosta Esping-Andersen, 2008. "Childhood investments and skill formation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(1), pages 19-44, February.
    4. Christian Bjørnskov & Nabanita Gupta & Peder Pedersen, 2008. "Analysing trends in subjective well-being in 15 European countries, 1973–2002," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 317-330, June.
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