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Recent trends in Spanish Income Distribution: A Robust Picture of Falling Income Inequality

  • Josep Oliver Alonso

    ()

    (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

  • Xavier Ramos

    ()

    (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

  • José Luis Raymond-Bara

    ()

    (Departament d’Economia i Història Econòmica, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

Income distribution in Spain has experienced a substantial improvement towards equalisation during the second half of the seventies and the eighties; a period during which most OECD countries experienced the opposite trend. In spite of the many recent papers on the Spanish income distribution, the period covered by those stops in 1990. The aim of this paper is to extent the analysis to 1996 employing the same methodology and the same data set (ECPF). Our results not only corroborate the (decreasing inequality) trend found by others during the second half of the eighties, but also suggest that this trend extends over the first half of the nineties. We also show that our main conclusions are robust to changes in the equivalence scale, to changes in the definition of income and to potential data contamination. Finally, we analyse some of the causes which may be driving the overall picture of income inequality using two decomposition techniques. From this analyses three variables emerge as the major responsible factors for the observed improvement in the income distribution: education, household composition and socioeconomic situation of the household head.

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File URL: http://www.ecap.uab.es/RePEc/doc/wp0107.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona in its series Working Papers with number wp0107.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uab:wprdea:wp0107
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  1. Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Mercader-Prats, Magda, 1999. "Household Needs and Poverty: With Application to Spain and the U.K," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(1), pages 77-98, March.
  3. Frank A Cowell & Maria-Pia Victoria-Feser, 2001. "Distributional Dominance with Dirty Data," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 51, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  5. Cowell, Frank A & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Robustness Properties of Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 77-101, January.
  6. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
  7. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  8. Jenkins, S., 1988. "The Measurement Of Economic Inequality," Papers 170, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  9. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1996. "Recent Trends in the UK Income Distribution: What Happened and Why?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 29-46, Spring.
  10. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
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