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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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Welfare Regimes, Cohorts, and the Middle Classes

Welfare Regimes, Cohorts, and the Middle Classes

(p.115) Chapter Four Welfare Regimes, Cohorts, and the Middle Classes
Income Inequality

Louis Chauvel

Stanford University Press

In comparative perspective, the “middle class” is still an under-specified term. This chapter analyses four countries, contrasted by their welfare regime type, and by the development and transformations of the lower- and the upper-middle classes. Here the focus is put on social generations, because we observe highly contrasted dynamics between birth cohorts, in particular in the conservative welfare regimes of Continental Europe. There, the opportunities to climb in the middle classes reached their climax in the cohorts of the early baby boomers, i.e., the generations of the young adults of the golden age. The following generations face a backlash, with higher risks of downward mobility. This presents a real challenge for the sustainability of middle-class based societies.

Keywords:   birth cohorts, middle class, Pareto and Champernowne distributions, social generations, welfare regime, social sustainability, Luxembourg Income Study

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