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American Exceptionalism in Market Income Inequality: An Analysis Based on Microdata from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database

Author

Listed:
  • Janet Gornick
  • Branko Milanovic

    ()

  • Nathaniel Johnson

    ()

Abstract

Earlier work has established that the US has exceptionally high inequality of disposable household income (i.e., income after accounting for taxes and transfers). Recent work by Gornick and Milanovic (2015) established that, among working-age households, a major contributor to that exceptional inequality is a high level of inequality in market income (i.e., income before taxes and transfers), paired with a moderate level of redistribution. In this paper, we look more deeply at market income inequality, focusing on its main component – labor income – across a group of 24 OECD countries. We disaggregate the working-age population into household types, defined by the number and gender of the household’s earners and the partnership and parenting status of its members. We conclude that within-group inequality of labor incomes in the US is, in almost all groups, high by OECD standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Gornick & Branko Milanovic & Nathaniel Johnson, 2017. "American Exceptionalism in Market Income Inequality: An Analysis Based on Microdata from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," LIS Working papers 692, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lis:liswps:692
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 49-100.
    2. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 49-100.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage distribution; earnings distributions; income inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution

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