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The Evolution of Income Inequality During the Rise of the Swedish Welfare State 1951 to 1973


  • Björklund, Anders

    () (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Palme, Mårten

    () (Dept. of Economic Statistics, Stockholm School of Economics)


We analyse the change in family gross income inequality between 1951 and 1973. We use two new samples of the Swedish population from 1951 and 1956 containing tax register data, and compare the results with those obtained from the Swedish Level of Living survey from 1967 and 1973. Gini coefficients, four different Generalised entropy measures as well as decile group shares of total income are calculated. We also do two different decompositions: one between different demographic groups and one between the male and female component of family income. Finally, we examine to what extent zero family income records really reflect low economic welfare by using interview data from the 1968 Swedish Level of Living Survey.

Suggested Citation

  • Björklund, Anders & Palme, Mårten, 2001. "The Evolution of Income Inequality During the Rise of the Swedish Welfare State 1951 to 1973," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0450, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 07 Jun 2001.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0450

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cowell, Frank A., 1989. "Sampling variance and decomposable inequality measures," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-41, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tregenna, F., 2009. "The Relationship Between Unemployment and Earnings Inequality in South Africa," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0907, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Roine, Jesper & Waldenstrom, Daniel, 2008. "The evolution of top incomes in an egalitarian society: Sweden, 1903-2004," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 366-387, February.

    More about this item


    Income distribution; Household income;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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