Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HUI Working Papers,
HUI Research

No 20: Income Inequality and Transformation of the Welfare State: A Comparative Study of the Reforms in New Zealand and Sweden

Srikanta Chatterjee (), Paul Dalziel (), Sven-Olov Daunfeldt () and Nripesh Podder ()
Additional contact information
Srikanta Chatterjee: Department of Economics and Finance Group, Postal: Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zeakand
Paul Dalziel: Economics at the Commerce Division, Postal: PO Box 84, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, Canterbury, New Zealand
Sven-Olov Daunfeldt: The Swedish Retail Institute (HUI), Postal: Regeringsgatan 60, 103 29 Stockholm, Sweden
Nripesh Podder: (Formerly) School of Economics, Postal: University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyse income inequality trends in New Zealand and Sweden from 1983 to 1997, a period when both New Zealand and Sweden implemented economic reforms that transformed their respective welfare systems. The results do not suggest that the more extensive reform programme in New Zealand was associated with a relatively larger increase in income inequality. Moreover, the level of social welfare of New Zealanders increased slightly after the implementation of the reform programme, while no similar evidence is apparent in the Swedish income data.

Keywords: income distribution; generalized Lorenz curves

JEL-codes: D13; D78; I31; O15

42 pages, October 16, 2008

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