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Income InequalityEconomic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries$
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Janet C. Gornick and Markus Jantti

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804778244

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804778244.001.0001

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Has Rising Inequality Reduced Middle-Class Income Growth?

Has Rising Inequality Reduced Middle-Class Income Growth?

Chapter:
(p.101) Chapter Three Has Rising Inequality Reduced Middle-Class Income Growth?
Source:
Income Inequality
Author(s):

Lane Kenwortby

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804778244.003.0004

A rise in the income share of the top 1 percent is likely to come at least partly at the expense of those in the middle, resulting in slower growth of absolute incomes for middle-class households. Developments in the United States in recent decades are consistent with this hypothesis, but does it hold across countries? The experience of the world's rich democracies from the late 1970s to the mid-2000s suggests that rising top-heavy income inequality has indeed tended to reduce middle-class income growth. But it also suggests that inequality's impact is sometimes offset or overshadowed by economic growth and government transfers.

Keywords:   inequality, income growth, middle class, top 1 percent, comparative, Luxembourg Income Study

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