Crossnational similarity and difference in the changing distribution of household income

05.30.2011 - By Department of Sociology Podcasts

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The author addresses the question how the distribution of household income has been changing in recent decades. After situating contemporary trends in inequality in the context of global income inequality, we turn to address the question how the distribution of household income has been changing in recent decades. We use data from the Luxemburg Income Study and methods based on the relative distribution to decompose overall distributional change into changes in location and shape. We do so for a heterogeneous group of countries: five transitional and middleincome societies the Czech and Slovak Republics, Poland, Russia, and Taiwan and four high-income societies the U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Germany. In the U.K. and U.S., we also describe the changing position of households at interesting social locations i.e., femaleheaded households and households whose heads and spouses/partners lack university qualifications. Focusing on changes in shape, we utilize full distributional information to examine how income inequality grew across the period stretching from the late 1970s to the mid2000s.

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