Chapter

The OECD Approach to Measuring Income Distribution and Poverty

Michael F. Förster and Marco Mira D’Ercole

in Counting the Poor

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860586
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932948 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860586.003.0002

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

The OECD Approach to Measuring Income Distribution and Poverty

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Inequalities and poverty matter in both poor and rich countries. Whereas inequality and poverty manifest themselves in a variety of dimensions, income is one of the most evident manifestations, and the one that better lends itself to periodic comparisons across countries and over time. Most people in OECD countries do care about income inequalities and are capable of articulating judgments on the shape of the income distribution. This chapter details the OECD's methods. The first section describes the history of research in the OECD into income distribution and poverty dating back to the mid-1970s. It also discusses some of the methodological and conceptual choices that have been made to construct more comparable indicators. The second section reviews some of the main findings from Growing Unequal?, the latest OECD study. The third section considers the limits of the OECD approach and describes some of the steps that have, or could, be undertaken to overcome those.

Keywords: OECD; income inequality; poverty; income distribution

Chapter.  12493 words.  Illustrated.

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