IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the Netherlands


  • Wiemer Salverda

    () (AIAS, Universiteit van Amsterdam)

  • Christina Haas


  • Marloes Graaf-zijl

    () (Sector 3 Groei, Kennis en Structuur, Centraal Planbureau)

  • Bram Lancee

    () (Research unit Migration, Integration, Transnationalization, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB))

  • Natascha Notten

    () (Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)

  • Tahnee Ooms

    () (CPB)


Inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient of net equivalised household incomes has risen substantially (+14%) in the Netherlands. Most of the rise is concentrated in a short episode, the late 1980s, and came about in the wake of deep recession of the early 1980s. Over the 1990s and 2000s a new plateau seems to be reached with little further change. In accordance with the GINI project, these outcomes are used below when considering impacts of inequality. However, as an important caveat, further scrutiny reveals that the Gini coefficient misses out on important changes at the tails of the distribution and therewith significant further increases in inequality over the 1990s and 2000s. The changes have been very drastic for the bottom decile, where average real income is still 30 per cent below the level reached at the end of the 1970s. This has greatly widened the lower half of the income distribution while dispersion in the upper half has hardly changed. Top income shares basically show stability – in spite of some recent growth for the Top 10% after long years of stability. However, underneath that stability top incomes shares from labour earnings show a secular and strong increase, from 19 per cent to almost 27 per cent of total gross income. The shares of top incomes from enterprise and wealth declined correspondingly. The rising role of earnings can be attributed entirely to the growing role of second earners. Nevertheless, the combination of earnings into household incomes in general halves the inequality of individual (annual) earnings in the labour market. That inequality has increased significantly as a result of a widening of hourly wage inequality (+40%) combined with an increased dispersion of annual hours worked because of growing part-time and temporary employment. In spite of these increases the inequality of net equivalised income of labour household has remained strikingly stable. An important implication is that the focus on net equivalised incomes misses the picture of growing inequality of primary, gross and disposable income and the equalising effect of changing household formation on net equivalised incomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiemer Salverda & Christina Haas & Marloes Graaf-zijl & Bram Lancee & Natascha Notten & Tahnee Ooms, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the Netherlands," GINI Country Reports netherlands, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aia:ginicr:netherlands

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stefan Groot & Henri de Groot, 2011. "Wage inequality in the Netherlands: Evidence, trends and explanations," CPB Discussion Paper 186, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
    3. Harry Ter Rele, 2007. "Measuring The Lifetime Redistribution Achieved By Dutch Taxation, Cash Transfer And Non‐Cash Benefits Programs," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(2), pages 335-362, June.
    4. Goudswaard, Kees & Caminada, Koen, 2008. "The redistributive impact of public and private social expenditure," MPRA Paper 20178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Melinda Mills & Katia Begall & Letizia Mencarini & Maria Letizia Tanturri, 2008. "Gender equity and fertility intentions in Italy and the Netherlands," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26, February.
    6. Gary S. Becker & William M. Landes, 1974. "Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck74-1, December.
    7. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    8. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human DEvelopment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 320-364, 04-05.
    9. Jan Bonenkamp, 2009. "Measuring Lifetime Redistribution in Dutch Occupational Pensions," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 49-77, March.
    10. Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand Maître, 2012. "Understanding Material Deprivation in Europe: A Multilevel Analysis," Working Papers 201205, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    11. Mary Gregory & Miriam Beblo & Wiemer Salverda & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2009. "Introduction," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages 1-10, April.
    12. Wiemer Salverda, 2011. "The Netherlands: Is the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Inequalities Different from in the Past?," Chapters,in: Work Inequalities in the Crisis, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Blázquez, Maite & Cottini, Elena & Herrarte, Ainhoa, 2012. "Socioeconomic Gradient in Health: How Important is Material Deprivation?," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2012/07, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
    14. Mary Gregory & Wiemer Salverda & Ronald Schettkat, 2007. "Introduction to Services and Employment: Explaining the U.S.-European Gap," Introductory Chapters,in: Mary Gregory & Wiemer Salverda & Ronald Schettkat (ed.), Services and Employment: Explaining the U.S.-European Gap Princeton University Press.
    15. Wiemer Salverda, 2010. "The Netherlands: Minimum Wage Fall Shifts Focus to Part-time Jobs," Chapters,in: The Minimum Wage Revisited in the Enlarged EU, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics & Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," Working Papers 200905, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Paul Beer & Wiemer Salverda, 2014. "2014-16: Piketty in the Netherlands - The first reception," Labour markets and industrial relations in the Netherlands - Working Papers 2014-16, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    2. van Klaveren, Maarten & Tijdens, Kea, 2015. "Wages, collective bargaining and recovery from the crisis in the Netherlands," WSI Working Papers 194, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    3. repec:aia:aiaswp:141 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Löffler, Max & Peichl, Andreas & Wittneben, Christian & Woodage, Carina, 2015. "Möglichkeiten zur Verbesserung der statistischen Datengrundlage zur Beschreibung höchster Einkommen und Vermögen: Abschlussbericht," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, volume 58, number 123309.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aia:ginicr:netherlands. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiemer Salverda). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.