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Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 2. The Distribution of Labour Income

  • Isabell Koske
  • Jean-Marc Fournier
  • Isabelle Wanner

This paper explores the role of macroeconomic factors and structural policies in shaping the distribution of labour income. Technological change and globalisation play at least some role in driving inequality patterns, but structural policy can also have an important influence on inequality outcomes, in particular through education and labour market policies. Drawing on empirical analysis of the links between structural policies and the distribution of labour income, the paper looks at potential policy trade-offs and complementarities with respect to the two policy objectives of lowering income inequality and raising economic growth. It concludes that many policies yield a double dividend in the sense that they contribute to achieving both goals simultaneously. This relates in particular to policies that facilitate the accumulation of human capital, that make educational achievement less dependent on personal and social circumstances, that reduce labour market dualism and that promote the labour market integration of immigrants and women. Moins d'inégalités de revenu et plus de croissance – Ces deux objectifs sont-ils compatibles? : Partie 2. La répartition des revenus du travail Ce papier explore le rôle des facteurs macroéconomiques et des politiques structurelles comme déterminants de la distribution des revenus du travail. Si les mutations technologiques et la mondialisation contribuent, à tout le moins, à la formation des inégalités, les politiques publiques, en particulier l’éducation et les politiques du marché du travail, peuvent aussi avoir une influence importante. À partir de l’analyse empirique des liens entre politiques publiques et répartition des revenus du travail, ce document examine les éventuels arbitrages et complémentarités entre les deux objectifs que sont la réduction des inégalités de revenu d’une part et le relèvement de la croissance économique d’autre part. Il conclut que nombre de politiques sont doublement payantes car elles contribuent à la réalisation simultanée de ces deux objectifs. Cela vaut en particulier pour les politiques favorisant l’accumulation de capital humain, rendant le potentiel d’éducation moins tributaire de la situation personnelle et sociale, réduisant le dualisme du marché du travail et promouvant l’intégration des immigrants et des femmes sur le marché du travail.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 925.

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Date of creation: 10 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:925-en
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