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Divergent Inequalities - Theory and Empirical Results (Revised Edition)

  • Wolfson, Michael
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    Widely used summary measures of inequality or the "disappearing middle class" are potentially misleading. Divergences between evidence cited and conclusions drawn include failing to distinguish the concepts of inequality and polarization, and using scalar oinequalityo measures which are not consistent with rankings based on Lorenz curves. In addition, inappropriate claims about trends in inequality can arise from focusing on only a sub-population such as full-time male workers, and failing to account for sampling variability. These divergences are illustrated using Canadian data on labour incomes over the 1967 to 1994 period.

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    File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0019M1997066&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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    Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 1997066e.

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    Date of creation: 30 Jul 1997
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    Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:1997066e
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6
    Web page: http://www.statcan.gc.ca

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    1. Beach, C.M., 1988. "The "Vanishing" Middle Class?: Evidence and Explanations," Papers 1988-5, Queen's at Kingston - Sch. of Indus. Relat. Papers in Industrial Relations.
    2. Steven J. Davis, 1992. "Cross-Country Patterns of Change in Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 4085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
    4. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
    5. James Foster & Michael Wolfson, 2010. "Polarization and the decline of the middle class: Canada and the U.S," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 247-273, June.
    6. John A. Bishop & John P. Formby & W. James Smith, 1993. "International Comparisons of Welfare and Poverty: Dominance Orderings for Ten Countries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 707-26, August.
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