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CASE Social Exclusion Seminars

Hosted by CASE, the London School of Economics and Political Science

Trends in spatial labour income inequality in Canada, France, Germany and the UK 1975-2020: the Linking National and Regional Inequalities project

Mark Fransham (LSE International Inequalities Institute)

Wednesday 23 November 2022 12:00 - 13:00

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Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

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About this event

The Linking National and Regional Inequalities project is an ongoing initiative to build an open-access, international database of statistics on regional income inequality. Initially the project examines trends in geographic income inequality across five high-income countries - Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States - since the 1970s. In the first stage of the project we are developing a feasible method for analysing geographic income inequality in a way that can be compared between countries, defining comparable geographic areas, having consistent measures of income and adjusting incomes for the local cost of living. Our second objective is to assess the importance of geographic inequalities in driving national income inequalities across our five study countries. Third, we will analyse the common trends and differences between and within countries, and investigate the causes of these trends. In this early paper from the project we present results on the trends in spatial labour income inequality in the UK, France, Germany and Canada since 1975. We find substantial heterogeneity across countries in both trends and levels of spatial labour income inequality, whether looking at weekly earnings or hourly wages. For example, we find the variance of mean wages between labour market areas increased substantially in Germany and the UK – though with different timings to these trends – whilst there was little change in France over the study period. We present results showing the variance in 10th centile and 90th centile wages between labour market areas, exploring the impact of including part-time workers and indicating the possible role of minimum wages in shaping spatial income inequality. We conclude by discussing some future directions for the project.

Listen to a recording of the event: