Income Distribution and Poverty in Selected OECD Countries

OECD Economics Department Working Paper No. 189

101 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2000

See all articles by Jean-Marc Burniaux

Jean-Marc Burniaux

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO)

Thai-Thanh Dang

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO)

Douglas Fore

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF)

Michael F. Förster

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS)

Marco Mira D'Ercole

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO)

Howard Oxley

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO)

Date Written: 1998

Abstract

This study examines developments in the distribution of disposable income and poverty for 13 OECD countries over the past one to two decades. It finds that income inequality and poverty have increased in about half of the countries. However, the widening in the distribution of market income has been more pronounced and more widespread across countries, reflecting both earnings, capital and self-employment incomes. While widening wage rates have played a role in explaining earnings developments, the increasing share of households with no workers has also been important. The tax and transfer system has contained or, at least, partly offset the widening in the distribution of market income. Transfer payments have been particularly important at the bottom of the income distribution as they increasingly replaced lost earnings. Households of retirement age appear to have benefited, on average, the most net taxes and transfers.

JEL Classification: I3, D33, J21

Suggested Citation

Burniaux, Jean-Marc and Dang, Thai-Thanh and Fore, Douglas C. and Förster, Michael F. and Mira D'Ercole, Marco and Oxley, Howard, Income Distribution and Poverty in Selected OECD Countries (1998). OECD Economics Department Working Paper No. 189. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=237369 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.237369

Jean-Marc Burniaux

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, MO 63108
France

Thai-Thanh Dang (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, MO 63108
France

Douglas C. Fore

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) ( email )

730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
United States

Michael F. Förster

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France
+33 1 45 24 92 80 (Phone)
+ 33 1 45 24 76 04 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.oecd.org

Marco Mira D'Ercole

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, MO 63108
France

Howard Oxley

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, MO 63108
France

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