Income Inequality in Canada Appears Overstated - Study

Government Redistribution Narrowing the Gap

CALGARY, Feb. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Recent concerns over income inequality and the concentration of wealth have grabbed headlines worldwide. However, new analysis by The School of Public Policy examines inequality from an empirical and fact-based perspective and shows that raw measures of income inequality do not, by themselves, adequately incorporate the effect of government redistribution occurring in Canada.

Author Stephen Richardson argues that "measuring only the amount of income inequality for a given population has limited use in public policy discussion." As such he looks at statistics for income distribution in Canada from 1976 to 2008 and finds that redistribution through the tax and transfer system has a significant impact in inequality.

In doing so he arrives at the conclusion that while income inequality has increased over the long-term in Canada, this has been substantially offset by the scale of income redistribution and the absolute growth in incomes.

The study can be found online at www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/publications.

SOURCE University of Calgary - School of Public Policy

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Media Contact:

Morten Paulsen
The School of Public Policy
University of Calgary
Phone: 403.399.3377
Email: morten@paulsengroup.ca

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University of Calgary - School of Public Policy

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