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The rise of populist politics has highlighted the increasingly polarized geography of prosperity, and the rise of national income inequalities has been increasingly connected to the evolution of spatial inequalities within countries. Whilst crossnational research on income inequalities has been highly influential, there is limited comparative research into geographic income inequalities that tracks the link over time between national and subnational economic inequality. This paper is a first systematic attempt to create internationally comparable evidence showing how different countries perform in terms of geographic inequalities. We create cross-country comparable measures of spatial wage disparities between and within similarly-defined local labour market areas (LLMAs) for Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States since the 1970s, and assess their contribution to national inequality. By the end of the 2010s, spatial inequalities in LLMA mean wages are very similar in Canada, France, Germany and the UK. The US is the most spatially unequal; Canada has US levels of national inequality with European spatial inequality; France has very low spatial inequality in top and bottom wages; place is unusually important in the UK; and place makes a low and stable contribution to German inequality. All countries experienced an increase in spatial inequality over the period, though the degree of increase varies considerably. The contribution of inequalities between places in explaining national wage inequality has remained fairly constant over the 40-year study period, except in the United Kingdom. Whilst common social, economic and technological shocks are clearly important, the variation in levels and trends of spatial inequality across countries and over time opens the door to comparative research exploring the role of national institutions in mediating how these shocks translate into economic disparities between places.
This study examines how inheritance and gift tax systems may reproduce gender inequalities in parental transfers. Although there is ample research on the role of fiscal policy for wealth inequality between households, we know only little about how taxes shape gender wealth inequality. We focus on financial transfers because a significant share of wealth is not generated from savings but received in transfers. Gender differences in financial transfers might arise or be reproduced if men benefit differently than women from tax exemptions. This could be because men and women receive different types of assets where some are tax-exempted while others are not. To estimate gender gaps in the effective tax rates on parental transfers, we draw on German administrative inheritance and gift tax data. We show that men’s average effective tax rate on inheritance is 2% lower than women’s. For gifts, men’s average effective tax rate is 18% lower than women’s. By discussing and identifying implicit gender discrimination in the inheritance and gift tax system this study adds another factor – tax policy – to the debate about the gender wealth gap.
To assess gender equality in society, it is important to understand how parenthood affects women relative to men. Labor economics has established that women still experience a child penalty in earnings. It is unclear to what degree gender inequality due to childbearing extends beyond the labor market and affects well-being. We combine administrative data from Austria and Denmark with a quasi-experimental event study approach to estimate the impact of the birth of their first child on parents' mental health. We find that mental health deteriorates for both parents after birth, but this effect is much more pronounced for women than for men. The motherhood penalty in mental health is stronger in Austria compared to Denmark. Longer periods of maternal leave exacerbate mental problems.
The baby boomer generation in Britain has accumulated substantial wealth through housing and private pension wealth during the 1990s and 2000s. However, the circumstances for the younger generation in Britain are expected to differ due to considerably less favourable and highly uncertain economic and political environment in the late 2000s and 2010s. Moreover, several studies have pointed to an increasing economic inequality within the younger generation, as their socio-economic outcomes are closely linked to their parents' wealth and social capital. Motivated by this observation, this study questions how Britain's younger adults aged between 25 and 45 accumulate wealth, and whether social origin plays a role in the manner and extent of younger adults' wealth-building. To answer these questions, the study develops a typology of savers and examines whether the initial saver type membership as well as patterns of transitions across the saver types over time differ by parental homeownership.
To establish saver types, it takes a Balance Sheet approach, which distinguishes asset- and debt-holding, and different types of wealth-building vehicles by factors such as risk structure, accessibility and ease of liquidation as well as amounts held in each vehicle, in order to provide nuanced picture of wealth accumulation. Individual balance sheet is built using Wealth and Assets Survey, which is a biennial study on economic circumstances of British households since 2006/8. Factor Mixture Modelling is used to establish saver types, which takes both ownership and amounts held in a certain type of wealth building vehicle into account. Transitions probabilities between 2008/10 and 2014/16 are examined using Latent Transition Analysis. The characteristics associated with a specific saver type at the initial stage and transitions probabilities over time are examined using Latent Transition Analysis in the multi-group analysis framework comparing two groups distinguished by parental homeownership.
Four distinctive saver types are established: undersavers, property saver-dissavers, traditional savers and investor savers in the order of least wealthy to most wealthy group. The dominant wealth portfolio within these saver types shows that their abilities to deal with adverse effect differ substantially. The chances of being allocated to wealthier saver types are closely linked to individuals' socio-economic characteristics as well as parental homeownership. Although transition probabilities are relatively stable given a short observation period, upwards movement is more frequent among those who grew up with home-owning parents, controlling for other variables. This study's findings show how the younger generation's abilities to build wealth may differ at the earlier stage of life. Also, the findings of this study concur with the previous studies that the younger generation's economic outcomes are increasingly connected to their parents', which has substantial policy implications for inequality.