Cross-national and intertemporal variations in income inequalities


Istvan Gyorgy Toth, TARKI Social Research Institute (Hungary)


The seminar described the development of within country income inequalities in 30 countries between 1980 and 2010. Inequality and poverty data based on country reports delivered within the Growing Inequalities’ Impacts (GINI) project was collected and put into the most possible consistent time series for each countries. The dataset is unique and wide ranging, offering new insights into development of inequalities in a joint set of OECD and EU members. Inequalities, on average and in general, increased in the observed country universe. There is, however, a significant heterogeneity across countries and country groupings. The differential cross country dynamics challenges the view that over time variance cannot override cross country differentials. Members of the previously homogenous group of central and Eastern European countries ended up in the full spectrum of inequalites in Europe. Also, Nordic countries experienced very substantial inequality increase. The seminar concluded that while structural constraints and dependency on historic trends conditions inequality developments, one has to look at institutional and policy differences to explain diverging paths of inequality.


International seminar


European Centre