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Investigating Income Inequality in Four Countries

A recent Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review article by Alejandro Badel, Moira Daly, Mark Huggett, and Martin Nybom explored the issue of income inequality. Using longitudinal government data (like Social Security income records) from the early 1980s to 2013, the authors tracked the growth in wages and salaries over the working lifetimes of more than 250,000 men in the United States, Canada, Denmark, and Sweden. 

The research found that income inequality within this group has increased in the past few decades: While median earnings in the U.S. and Canada doubled for men between ages 25 and 50, top earners saw their wages and salary increase as much as 15-fold between ages 25 and 55. The authors found less growth in lifetime earnings for men in Denmark and Sweden and less inequality between the top and median incomes.

Read the full article here.