OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers

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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market and social policy studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.


Trends and Driving Factors in Income Distribution and Poverty in the OECD Area

  1. This paper summarises trends and driving factors in income distribution and poverty in 21 OECD Member countries analysing separately the working- and the retirement-age populations. Shifts in relative incomes in the past ten years generally favoured prime-age and elderly age groups. Persons living in multi-adult households have seen their income shares rise somewhat, especially in households without children, or when there are two or more earners present. On the other hand, younger age groups generally lost ground, and relative income levels of single parents and persons in households with no earners tended to weaken further in many countries.
  2. There has been no generalised long-term trend in the distribution of disposable household incomes since the mid-1970s. However, during the more recent period (mid-1980s to mid-1990s), income inequality has increased in about half of the OECD countries studied, while none of the remaining countries recorded an unambiguous decrease in ...


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