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Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 1. Mapping Income Inequality Across the OECD

  • Peter Hoeller
  • Isabelle Joumard
  • Mauro Pisu
  • Debra Bloch

Countries differ widely with respect to the level of labour income inequality among individuals of working age. Labour income inequality is shaped by differences in wage rates, hours worked and inactivity rates. Individual labour income inequality is the main driver of household market income inequality, with family formation as well as self-employment and capital income dispersion playing a smaller role. Household disposable income dispersion is lower in all OECD countries than household market income inequality, due to the redistributive effect of tax and transfer systems, but redistribution differs widely across countries. This paper maps income inequality for all OECD countries across various inequality dimensions and summarises them in inequality outcome diamonds. It also provides a cluster analysis that identifies groups of countries that share similar inequality patterns. Moins d'inégalités de revenu et plus de croissance – Ces deux objectifs sont-ils compatibles? : Partie 1. Cartographie des inégalités de revenu dans les pays de l'OCDE Les inégalités des revenus du travail entre les personnes en âge de travailler varient largement selon les pays. Elles reflètent les écarts de salaire, de nombre d‘heures ouvrées et de taux d‘inactivité. Ces inégalités sont le principal facteur d‘inégalité du revenu marchand des ménages, la composition de la famille, l‘emploi indépendant et la répartition des revenus du capital jouant un moindre rôle. La répartition du revenu disponible des ménages dans tous les pays de l‘OCDE est moins importante que l‘inégalité du revenu marchand des ménages en raison de l‘effet redistributif de l‘impôt et des systèmes de transfert, mais cette redistribution est très variable selon les pays. Ce document dresse une cartographie des inégalités de revenu dans tous les pays de l‘OCDE en distinguant les différentes composantes de revenus et en les synthétisant sous forme de figures en diamant rendant compte des résultats obtenus. Il présente en outre une analyse par clusters mettant en évidence les groupes de pays ayant en commun les mêmes structures d‘inégalité.Countries differ widely with respect to the level of labour income inequality among individuals of working age. Labour income inequality is shaped by differences in wage rates, hours worked and inactivity rates. Individual labour income inequality is the main driver of household market income inequality, with family formation as well as self-employment and capital income dispersion playing a smaller role. Household disposable income dispersion is lower in all OECD countries than household market income inequality, due to the redistributive effect of tax and transfer systems, but redistribution differs widely across countries. This paper maps income inequality for all OECD countries across various inequality dimensions and summarises them in inequality outcome diamonds. It also provides a cluster analysis that identifies groups of countries that share similar inequality patterns.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 924.

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Date of creation: 10 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:924-en
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