In the three decades to the recent economic downturn, wage gaps widened and household income inequality increased in a large majority of OECD countries. This occurred even when countries were going through a period of sustained economic and employment growth. This report analyses the major underlying forces behind these developments. It examines to which extent economic globalisation, skill-biased technological progress and institutional and regulatory reforms have had an impact on the distribution of earnings. The report further provides evidence of how changes in family formation and household structures have altered household earnings and income inequality. And it documents how tax and benefit systems have changed in the ways they redistribute household incomes. The report discusses which policies are most promising to counter increases in inequalities and how the policy mix can be adjusted when public budgets are under strain.
"Analyses rely on simple statistical techniques that are accessible to a large readership... the graphic and charts are of great help to gain a quick visual grasp of the various issues addressed."
Table of contents:
Editorial: An Overview of Growing Income Inequalities in OECD Countries: Main Findings Special Focus: Inequality in Emerging Economies (EEs) Part I. How Globalisation, Technological Change and Policies Affect Wage and Earnings Inequalities Chapter 1. Trends in Wage Inequality, Economic Globalisation and Labour Market Policies and Institutions Chapter 2. The Impact of Economic Globalisation and Changes in Policies and Institutions on Rising Earnings Inequality Chapter 3. Inequality Between the Employed and the Non-employed Part II. How Inequalities in Labour Earnings Lead to Inequalities in Household Disposable Income Chapter 4. Hours Worked, Self-Employment and Joblessness as Ingredients of Earnings Inequality Chapter 5. Trends in Household Earnings Inequality: The Role of Changing Family Formation Practices Chapter 6. From Household Earnings to Disposable Household Income Inequality Part III. How the Roles of Tax and Transfer Systems Have Changed Chapter 7. Changes in Redistribution in OECD Countries Over Two Decades Chapter 8. The Distributive Impact of Publicly Provided Services Chapter 9. Trends in Top Incomes and Their Tax Policy Implications