- 1815-1973 (online)
Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.
The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.
Economic Growth from the Household Perspective
GDP and Income Distribution Developments Across OECD Countries
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- Orsetta Causa1, Sonia Araujo1, Agnès Cavaciuti1, Nicolas Ruiz1, Zuzana Smidova1
- Author Affiliations
- 1: OECD, France
- 14 Apr 2014
- Bibliographic information
This paper provides an assessment of how households’ income has fared compared with GDP. While the prime focus is on incomes around the median, attention is paid also to the bottom of the income distribution. Thus, one contribution of the paper is to deliver a fresh assessment of the evolution of inequality and poverty across OECD countries over the last fifteen years. The analysis relies on a rich array of indicators, producing new evidence of the various patterns of differences in income distributions across countries and over time. For example, it assesses the extent to which stability in overall income inequality masks compensating changes between the lower and upper halves of the income distribution. Also, it explores whether contracting inequalities coexist with increasing poverty. The paper adds to previous studies by introducing, measuring and analysing income polarisation in a cross-country comparative perspective. Distinguishing polarisation from inequality and comparing their evolution over time provides new policy-relevant perspectives on the nature of the changing income distribution.
- middle class, income distribution, median income, polarisation, inequality, poverty
- JEL Classification:
- D31: Microeconomics / Distribution / Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
- I31: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / General Welfare, Well-Being
- I32: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Measurement and Analysis of Poverty