OECD Statistics Working Papers

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The OECD Statistics Working Paper Series - managed by the OECD Statistics Directorate – is designed to make available in a timely fashion and to a wider readership selected studies prepared by staff in the Secretariat or by outside consultants working on OECD projects. The papers included are of a technical, methodological or statistical policy nature and relate to statistical work relevant to the organisation. The Working Papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

Joint Working Paper

Measuring Well-being and Progress in Countries at Different Stages of Development: Towards a More Universal Conceptual Framework (with OECD Development Centre)

Measuring and Assessing Job Quality: The OECD Job Quality Framework (with OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs)

Forecasting GDP during and after the Great Recession: A contest between small-scale bridge and large-scale dynamic factor models (with OECD Economics Directorate)

Decoupling of wages from productivity: Macro-level facts(with OECD Economics Directorate)


The drivers of differences between growth in GDP and household adjusted disposable income in OECD countries You or your institution have access to this content

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Jennifer Ribarsky, Changku Kang1, Esther Bolton1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

20 May 2016
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Growth in household income has evolved differently from gross domestic product (GDP) in most OECD countries over the last eighteen years. Using the wealth of information available in the System of National Accounts, this paper provides an assessment of what may be driving this gap. A clear relationship, based on national accounts identities, between GDP and household income exists. This link allows for the calculation of each component’s contribution to the divergence in the growth rates. Based on this deconstruction, differences between the growth rates reflect several underlying effects that (often) offset each other. In many OECD countries, real GDP grew at a faster pace than real household income over the last eighteen years driven by different developments in prices faced by producers versus prices faced by consumers and a rising profit share of corporations. The positive evolution of the other components (such as government intervention) contributed to reducing the gap between the growth rates. Several indicators are investigated to help explain the underlying developments.
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