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Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich CountriesThirty Countries' Experiences$
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Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687428.001.0001

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Rising Inequality and the Transformation of Rhine Capitalism

(p.271) Chapter 12 Germany
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries

Giacomo Corneo

Sonja Zmerli

Reinhard Pollak

Oxford University Press

Germany has displayed a remarkably stable distribution of household net incomes except for the period 2000–2006 when inequality rapidly increased, both at the bottom and the top of the distribution. The rise of income disparities can be attributed to rising unemployment rates, growing inequality in market returns returns, and changing tax legislations. In a short-term perspective, the rise of income inequality was associated with increasing material deprivation, lower happiness, and less mobility out of poverty. In the long run, however, trends in these social indicators do not parallel the development of income inequality over the past two decades. Political behavioural and attitudinal patterns during the past ten years, which saw lower turnout rates, less trust in other people and political institutions as well as stronger opposing views towards immigrants, particularly amongst the least educated, are more in line with inequality trends.

Keywords:   income inequality, unemployment, tax legislation, deprivation, happiness, voter turnout, Germany, social impacts, immigrants, poverty

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