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Income Inequality over the Later-Life Course: A Comparative Analysis of Seven OECD Countries

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  • Robert L. Brown
  • Steven G. Prus

Abstract

This paper examines income inequality over stages of the later-life course (age 45 and older) and systems that can be used to mitigate this inequality. Two hypotheses are tested: (i) Levels of income inequality decline during old age because public benefits are more equally distributed than work income; (ii) Because of the progressive nature of government benefits, countries with stronger public income security programs are better able to reduce income inequalities during old age. The analysis is performed by comparing age groups within seven OECD countries (Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States) using Luxembourg Income Study data. Both hypotheses are supported. Several conclusions are drawn from the findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert L. Brown & Steven G. Prus, 2006. "Income Inequality over the Later-Life Course: A Comparative Analysis of Seven OECD Countries," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 154, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:154
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap154.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lars Osberg, 1998. "Economic Insecurity," Discussion Papers 0088, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2009. "Using The P90-P10 Index To Measure U.S. Inequality Trends With Current Population Survey Data: A View From Inside The Census Bureau Vaults," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(1), pages 166-185, March.
    2. Elnaz Hajebi & Mohammad Javad Razmi, 2014. "Effect Of Income Inequality On Health Status In A Selection Of Middle And Low Income Countries," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 9(4), pages 133-152, December.
    3. Carlos Farinha Rodrigues & Isabel Andrade, 2013. "The Age-Old Problem of Old Age Poverty in Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2013/27, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    4. Bérangère Legendre, 2011. "La croissance du revenu des retraités en Europe peut-elle être considérée comme pro-pauvres ?," Post-Print hal-00951721, HAL.
    5. Carlos Farinha Rodrigues & Isabel Andrade, 2016. "The Age-Old Problem Of Old Age Poverty In Portugal, 2006 – 14," Working Papers Department of Economics 2016/24, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    6. Souza, Pedro H.G.F., 2013. "The Decline in Inequality In Brazil, 2003-2009: The Role Of The State," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt33q062zj, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    7. Arber, Sara & Fenn, Kirsty & Meadows, Robert, 2014. "Subjective financial well-being, income and health inequalities in mid and later life in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 12-20.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    retirement; income dynamics; comparative analysis; public pensions;

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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