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Dimensions of Inequality in Canada

  • Matthew Brzozowski

    (Assistant Economics, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, York University (E-mail: brzozows@yorku.ca))

  • Martin Gervais

    (Reader, Economics Division, University of Southampton (E-mail: gervais@soton.ac.uk))

  • Paul Klein

    (Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario (E-mail: pklein2@uwo.ca))

  • and Michio Suzuki

    (Economist, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan (E-mail: michio.suzuki@boj.or.jp))

In this paper, we document some features of the distribution of income, consumption and wealth in Canada using survey data from many different sources. We find that wage and income inequality has increased substantially over the last 30 years, but that much of this rise was offset by the tax and transfer system. As a result, the rise in consumption inequality has been relatively mild. We also document that wealth inequality has remained fairly stable since 1999. A comparison of our results - obtained using confidential data - suggests that while some aspects of inequality are well captured by publicly available data, others paint a drastically different picture.

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File URL: http://www.imes.boj.or.jp/research/papers/english/09-E-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan in its series IMES Discussion Paper Series with number 09-E-02.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ime:imedps:09-e-02
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  1. Erich Battistin & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 2007. "Why is Consumption More Log Normal Than Income? Gibrat's Law Revisited," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 671, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Thomas F. Crossley & Krishna Pendakur, 2002. "Consumption Inequality," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, McMaster University.
  3. Erich Battistin, 2003. "Errors in survey reports of consumption expenditures," IFS Working Papers W03/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marc Frenette & David A. Green & Kevin Milligan, 2007. "The tale of the tails: Canadian income inequality in the 1980s and 1990s," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 734-764, August.
  6. Picot, Garnett & Green, David A. & Frenette, Marc, 2004. "Rising Income Inequality in the 1990s: An Exploration of Three Data Sources," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004219e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  7. Emmanuel Saez & Michael R. Veall, 2005. "The Evolution of High Incomes in Northern America: Lessons from Canadian Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 831-849, June.
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