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The impact of the Great Recession on the incomes of households


  • John Micklewright

    () (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)


What are the impacts on household incomes of the major economic downturn that occurred in almost all OECD countries starting in late 2007? This paper is a condensed version of a public lecture given at the University of Melbourne in honour of R. I. Downing. It draws on a study of 21 rich countries using data from national accounts, household surveys, and other sources. The headline findings are that for most countries, there was little change in household income distributions in the two years following the downturn (2007–9), but in the subsequent five to ten years, much greater change is likely, as a result of governments' fiscal consolidation and the slow pace of economic recovery. The social safety nets developed since the Great Depression therefore played an important cushioning role in the short term.

Suggested Citation

  • John Micklewright, 2012. "The impact of the Great Recession on the incomes of households," DoQSS Working Papers 12-07, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1207

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Great Recession; income distribution; living standards; households.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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