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Overview of Trends of Economic Inequality in Iceland
|Has the dispersion of earnings been increasing in recent decades?||Yes, earnings dispersion appears to be on the rise since the 1980s. Evidence is however limited.|
|Has overall inequality increased in recent years?||Yes, the Gini coefficient has increased by 5.5 percentage points in the run-up of the crisis and then fell by 4 percentage points.|
|Have there been periods when overall inequality fell for a sustained period?||Limited evidence|
|Has poverty been falling or rising in recent decades?||Limited evidence|
|Has there been a U-pattern for top income shares over time?||Limited evidence|
|Has the distribution of wealth followed the same pattern as income?||No evidence.|
|Additional noteworthy features||Effect of financial bubble and crisis.|
Sources and References
Sources for the historical data series:
Overall inequality: Gini coefficient for equivalised household disposable income from EU-SILC, Eurostat website.
Top income shares: Shares of top 1 and 5 per cent in equivalised disposable income, including capital gains, after direct taxation and benefits, from Olafsson and Kristjansson (2010, Figure 6).
Poverty: Percentage of individuals living in households with equivalised (EU scale) disposable income below 60 per cent of the median from EU-SILC, Eurostat website; for 1986-1995 (with 50 per cent of the median) from Ólafsson and Sigurðsson, (1996, Figure 2).
Individual earnings: Earnings at top decile from OECD iLibrary, Employment and Labour Market Statistics, Gross earnings decile ratios; Gini coefficient for employment earnings from Ólafsson, S and Sigurðsson (1996, Figure 2).
Wealth: no suitable data were found.
Ólafsson, S and Kristjánsson, A S, 2010, “Income inequality in a bubble economy”, Luxembourg Income Study conference, Luxembourg.
Ólafsson, S and Sigurðsson, A S, 1996, “Poverty in Iceland” in A Puide, editor, Den nordiska fattingdomens utveckling och struktur, Tema Nord, Copenhagen.