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Spain is Different: Falling Trends of Inequality

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  • Pijoan-Mas, Josep
  • Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia

Abstract

In this article we characterize the evolution of inequality in hourly wages, hours of work, labor earnings, household disposable income and household consumption for Spain between 1985 and 2000. We look at both the Encuesta Continua de Presupuestos Familiares and the European Household Community Panel. Our analysis shows that inequality in individual net labor earnings and household net disposable income has decreased substantially. The decreases in the tertiary education premium and in the unemployment rate have been key ingredients to understand this falling trend. However, the inequality reduction has not been monotonic over the period: while it fell in years of economic expansion, there was an inequality surge in the recession of the early nineties. Public transfers have played a crucial role in smoothing out the inequality arising in the labor market, but instead the Spanish family does not seem to have been an important insurance mechanism. Regarding household consumption, inequality has fallen much less than inequality in household net disposable income, with the decrease mostly concentrated in the second half of the eighties. This suggests that the reduction in income inequality has affected the sources of permanent differences between households only during the second half of the eighties. Our estimates of the earnings process for the period are consistent with this view.

Suggested Citation

  • Pijoan-Mas, Josep & Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia, 2009. "Spain is Different: Falling Trends of Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 7489, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7489
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    Cited by:

    1. Stéphane Bonhomme & Laura Hospido, 2012. "The cycle of earnings inequality: evidence from Spanish social security data," Working Papers 1225, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    2. Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Biavaschi, Costanza & Eichhorst, Werner & Giulietti, Corrado & Kendzia, Michael J. & Muravyev, Alexander & Pieters, Janneke & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda, 2013. "Youth Unemployment and Vocational Training," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 9(1–2), pages 1-157, December.
      • Biavaschi, Costanza & Eichhorst, Werner & Giulietti, Corrado & Kendzia, Michael J. & Muravyev, Alexander & Pieters, Janneke & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Youth Unemployment and Vocational Training," IZA Discussion Papers 6890, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Gonzalo Paz Pardo & José Manuel Sánchez Santos, 2014. "Household Debt and Consumption Inequality: The Spanish Case," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-24, July.
    4. Aitor Lacuesta & Sergio Puente & Pilar Cuadrado, 2009. "Omitted variables in the measure of a labour quality index: the case of Spain," Working Papers 0835, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    5. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2016. "Distributional Incentives In An Equilibrium Model Of Domestic Sovereign Default," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-44, February.
    6. Josep Pijoan-Mas & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2010. "Spain is Different: Falling Trends of Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 154-178, January.
    7. repec:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i::p:141-158 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Romain Ranciere & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton & Michael Kumhof & Claire Lebarz & Alexander W. Richter, 2012. "Income Inequality and Current Account Imbalances," IMF Working Papers 12/8, International Monetary Fund.
    9. repec:gam:jecomi:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:14-:d:97287 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Virginia Maestri & Andrea Roventini, 2012. "Inequality and Macroeconomic Factors: A Time-Series Analysis for a Set of OECD Countries," Working Papers 34/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    11. Jeremy Lise & Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Ken Yamada & Tomoaki Yamada, 2014. "Wage, Income and Consumption Inequality in Japan, 1981-2008: from Boom to Lost Decades," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 582-612, October.
    12. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2016. "Optimal Domestic (and External) Sovereign Default," NBER Working Papers 22509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Virginia Maestri & Roventini, A. (Andrea), 2012. "GINI DP 30: Stylized Facts on Business Cycles and Inequality," GINI Discussion Papers 30, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    14. Torregrosa-Hetland, Sara, 2016. "Sticky Income Inequality In The Spanish Transition (1973-1990)," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 39-80, March.
    15. Max Coveney & Pilar García‐Gómez & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2016. "Health Disparities by Income in Spain Before and After the Economic Crisis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25, pages 141-158, November.
    16. Amy Beech & Rosetta Dollman & Richard Finlay & Gianni La Cava, 2014. "The Distribution of Household Spending in Australia," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 13-22, March.
    17. Raquel Carrasco & Juan F. Jimeno & A. Carolina Ortega, 2011. "Accounting for changes in the Spanish wage distribution: the role of employment Composition effects," Working Papers 1120, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    18. Ada Ferrer-i-carbonell & X. Ramos & M. Oviedo, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Spain," GINI Country Reports spain, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    19. Carrasco, Raquel & Jimeno, Juan F. & Ortega, Ana Carolina, 2012. "Declining returns to skill and the distribution of wages : Spain 1995-2006," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1231, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    20. Aitor Lacuesta & Sergio Puente & Ernesto Villanueva, 2011. "The schooling response to a sustained increase in low-skill wages: evidence from Spain 1989-2009," Working Papers 1208, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    21. Manuel Hidalgo, 2009. "Are Within-Groups `Abilities' Distribution Constant on Time?," Working Papers 09.15, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    22. Salverda, Wiemer & Checchi, Daniele, 2014. "Labour-Market Institutions and the Dispersion of Wage Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8220, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumption inequality; income inequality; wage inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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