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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. 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.
  2. Erich Battistin, 2003. "Errors in survey reports of consumption expenditures," IFS Working Papers W03/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "An Empirical Investigation of Labor Income Processes," NBER Working Papers 13394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Dirk Krüger, 2009. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," MEA discussion paper series 09184, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  7. Thomas F. Crossley & Krishna Pendakur, 2002. "Consumption Inequality," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, McMaster University.
  8. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 681-722, 08.
  9. Erich Battistin & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 2007. "Why is consumption more log normal than income? Gibrat's law revisited," IFS Working Papers W07/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. 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.
  11. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green, 2000. "Cohort patterns in Canadian earnings: assessing the role of skill premia in inequality trends," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 907-936, November.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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