The Form of Recent Distributions of Income

Henry Phelps Brown

in Egalitarianism and the Generation of Inequality

Published in print November 1988 | ISBN: 9780198286486
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596773 | DOI:
 The Form of Recent Distributions of Income

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The last chapter contained illustrations of the distribution of income in the UK displayed as a Pen parade; this one asks whether the form that was shown there is peculiar to a particular time or place, or is found in other countries, and in earlier as well as later years. The first section gives examples of distributions in various Western countries and discusses them; it also introduces the Pareto distribution, which gives a straight line (the Pareto line) rather than the curve given by the Pen parade, and discusses the social implications of the smoothness and steadiness of this linear gradation. The next section makes some further international comparisons between developed countries; these, like the earlier ones, show similar Pen parades. The third section demonstrates the differences in Pen parades exhibited by developed and developing countries; the latter show greater inequalities and spreads of relative income, and sharper changes over different ranges. The last section looks at the distribution of income in Soviet‐type economies; these show quite distinctive and similar Pen profiles in comparison with the Western type.

Keywords: developed countries; developing countries; income distribution; Pareto distribution; Pen parade; Pen profile; Soviet‐type economies; statistics; UK; Western countries

Chapter.  6730 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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