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

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  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Josep Oliver Alonso & Xavier Ramos & José Luis Raymond-Bara, 2001. "Recent trends in Spanish Income Distribution: A Robust Picture of Falling Income Inequality," Working Papers wp0107, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  • Handle: RePEc:uab:wprdea:wp0107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-625, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    4. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-764, July.
    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. Jenkins, S., 1988. "The Measurement Of Economic Inequality," Papers 170, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
    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 115-142, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lídia Farré & Francis Vella, 2008. "Macroeconomic Conditions and the Distribution of Income in Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(3), pages 383-410, September.
    2. Budria, Santiago, 2006. "Education and Inequality: Evidence from Spain," MPRA Paper 1098, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Josep Pijoan-Mas & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2010. "Spain is Different: Falling Trends of Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 154-178, January.
    4. Juan Ramón García, "undated". "La desigualdad salarial en España. Efectos de un diseño muestral complejo," Working Papers 2003-26, FEDEA.
    5. Francisco J. Goerlich-Gisbert & Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Marta Urrutia, 2009. "The ‘extended’ Atkinson family and changes in the expenditure distribution. Spain 1973/74-2003," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 18(1), pages 20-41, March.
    6. Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2005. "Fiscal Adjustments and the Short-Term Trade-Off between economic growth and equality," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 172(1), pages 61-92, June.

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