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Consumption, income, and wealth inequality in Canada

  • Brozozowski, Matthew
  • Gervais, Martin
  • Klein, Paul
  • Suzuki, Micho

In this paper we document some features of the distribution of income, consumption and wealth in Canada using survey data from many different sources. We find that wage and income inequality have increased substantially over the last 30 years, but that much of this rise was offset by the tax and transfer system. As a result, the rise in consumption inequality has been relatively mild. We also document that wealth inequality has remained fairly stable since 1999. Using both confidential data and publicly available data, we are able to gauge the extent to which the publicly available data conceals aspects of inequality that confidential data reveals Keywords; income inequality, consumption inequality, wealth inequality JEL Classification: D12, D31

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Paper provided by Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton in its series Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics with number 0904.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:0904
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  1. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," Seminar Papers 702, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Erich Battistin & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 2009. "Why Is Consumption More Log Normal than Income? Gibrat's Law Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1140-1154, December.
  3. Paul Beaudry & David Green, 1997. "Cohort Patterns in Canadian Earnings: Assessing the Role of Skill Premia in Inequality Trends," NBER Working Papers 6132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Unequal we stand: an empirical analysis of economic inequality in the United States, 1967-2006," Staff Report 436, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2009. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," NBER Working Papers 15059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Picot, Garnett & Green, David A. & Frenette, Marc, 2004. "Rising Income Inequality in the 1990s: An Exploration of Three Data Sources," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004219e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  7. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Thomas F. Crossley & Krishna Pendakur, 2002. "Consumption Inequality," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, McMaster University.
  9. Erich Battistin, 2003. "Errors in survey reports of consumption expenditures," IFS Working Papers W03/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Richard Blundell & Ben Etheridge, 2010. "Consumption, Income and Earnings Inequality in Britain," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 76-102, January.
  11. Fatih Guvenen, 2009. "An Empirical Investigation of Labor Income Processes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 58-79, January.
  12. Burbidge, John B & Magee, Lonnie & Robb, A Leslie, 1997. "Canadian Wage Inequality over the Last Two Decades," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 181-203.
  13. Drolet, Marie & Zhang, Xuelin & Morissette, Rene, 2002. "The Evolution of Wealth Inequality in Canada, 1984-1999," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002187e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  14. Marc Frenette & David A. Green & Kevin Milligan, 2007. "The tale of the tails: Canadian income inequality in the 1980s and 1990s," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 734-764, August.
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