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Growing Unequal?

Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries

image of Growing Unequal?
Growing Unequal? brings together a range of analyses on the distribution of economic resources in OECD countries. The evidence on income distribution and poverty covers, for the first time, all 30 OECD countries in the mid-2000s, while information on trends extending back to the mid-1980s is provided for around two-thirds of the countries. The report also describes inequalities in a range of domains (such as household wealth, consumption patterns, in-kind public services) that are typically excluded from conventional discussion about the distribution of economic resources among individuals and households. The report provides evidence of a fairly generalised increase in income inequality over the past two decades across the OECD, but the timing, intensity and causes of the increase differ from what is typically suggested in the media. Precisely how much inequality there is in a society is not determined randomly, nor is it beyond the power of governments to change, so long as they take note of the sort of up-to-date evidence included in this report.

This report includes StatLinks, URLs linking tables and graphs in the book to Excel® spreadsheets containing the data.

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Inequality in the Distribution of Economic Resources

How it has Changed and what Governments Can Do about it

Better information on how cash income and other types of resources are distributed within society is critical to address rising concerns about poverty and inequality. This information has implications for policies, as it highlights the importance of national circumstances for the success of different programmes and strategies. By providing information on more homogeneous groups within society, these data are also essential to bridge the gap between official statistics based on macro aggregates for economy-wide income and individuals’ perceptions of their own conditions.

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