Chapter

Sources of Equality and Inequality: Wages, Jobs, Households, and Redistribution

Lane Kenworthy

in Jobs with Equality

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780199550593
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191720727 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550593.003.0003
Sources of Equality and Inequality: Wages, Jobs, Households, and Redistribution

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This chapter argues that in thinking about income inequality, our focus should be on the distribution of post-tax-post-transfer income among households, rather than the distribution of earnings among individuals or the distribution of market income among households. It explores the chief determinants of cross-country and over-time differences in post-tax-postt-ransfer household income inequality. It examines the impact of individual earnings, employment patterns within and across households, household composition and structure, and government redistribution. It is shown that for the countries that have been most successful at limiting inequality, redistribution has been especially significant. Keeping individual earnings inequality in check is likely to be increasingly difficult and that household structure and composition are very difficult for policy makers to influence.

Keywords: income inequality; income distribution; wages; jobs; households

Chapter.  6044 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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