Discussion Paper Series 2009-E-2

Dimensions of Inequality in Canada

Matthew Brzozowski, Martin Gervais, Paul Klein, Michio Suzuki

In this paper, we document some features of the distribution of income, consumption and wealth in Canada using survey data from many different sources. We find that wage and income inequality has increased substantially over the last 30 years, but that much of this rise was offset by the tax and transfer system. As a result, the rise in consumption inequality has been relatively mild. We also document that wealth inequality has remained fairly stable since 1999. A comparison of our results - obtained using confidential data - suggests that while some aspects of inequality are well captured by publicly available data, others paint a drastically different picture.

Keywords: Income Inequality; Consumption Inequality; Wealth Inequality

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

Copyright © 2009 Bank of Japan All Rights Reserved.

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