Explaining the Financial and Economic Crises
Edited by Eckhard Hein, Daniel Detzer and Nina Dodig
Chapter 6: Income distribution and the financial and economic crisis
Analysis of the distribution of income is a far from straightforward matter. For a start, there are a number of ways in which income distribution can be quantified and compared. When it comes to explaining how and why patterns of income distribution evolve over time, the task becomes even more difficult. It is therefore not surprising that there exist a range of views both on the relatively straightforward question of how income distribution has evolved over time and on the more difficult question of what has caused changes in income distribution. There are two main measures of income distribution. The ‘personal distribution’ of income describes the relative concentration or dispersion of the income of individuals (or households) drawn from a given population, such as wage-earners. The other measure is the ‘functional’ income distribution.
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