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Abstract:

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CASE Paper
The changing distribution of individual incomes in the UK before and after the recession
Eleni Karagiannaki and Lucinda Platt September 2015
Paper No' CASE/192:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: D31


Tags: individual incomes; great recession; income distribution; uk; working age; pensioners; gender; ethnicity; housing tenure

While there has been substantial research on the impacts of the Great Recession on household incomes, there has been less attention paid to the effects on individual income. Using pooled data from the Family Resources Survey, we address the question of which groups gained and which lost in terms of their individual income between 2005-8 and 2009-12. We investigate changes in median individual incomes and across the distribution by age, ethnicity, social class and housing tenure. We also explore the role of different income sources in overall income changes. We find that working age men faced lower individual incomes across the distribution after the recession compared to the earlier period. By contrast, pensioners’ incomes were protected. Working age women overall experienced individual income gains that largely came from higher labour income; but the pattern was more varied, with some groups of women losing out. The income gains that women in couples obtained were not sufficient to counterbalance the losses that men experienced.