I’ve been reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century (11% of the way through!) and the recent publication of the 2014 Household Incomes Report makes me wonder if the core hypothesis holds in contemporary New Zealand. Via the Herald:
Growing income inequality is largely a myth, according to the latest household income figures, though the pockets of the poor are hit the hardest by rising housing costs.
Income inequality is a major political issue this election, as the Labour and Green Parties have tried to paint a picture of a widening gap between the haves and the have-nots under the National-led Government.
The 2014 Household Incomes Report, released yesterday, showed income inequality had mostly remained the same since the mid-1990s, and is slightly higher than the OECD average.
Household incomes had rebounded by 4 per cent from 2011 to 2013, making up lost ground after the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes. The report showed:
Lower earners were hit hardest by the recession, but riches from the recovery were more evenly spread. Overall from 2009 to 2013, average incomes were stagnant for the bottom half of earners, but grew by 5 per cent for the top half.In 2011, the top decile earned eight times the income of the lowest decile. Although the top decile earned a quarter of all income, it held half of all household wealth.