This week the OECD released an update of their income inequality statistics which was covered in an article by Dan O’Brien in yesterday’s Irish Times. For household disposable income Ireland is not unusually unequal.
- Gini co-efficient: Ireland 0.307 versus OECD average of 0.313
- 90/10 income share: Ireland 7.5 versus OECD average of 9.4
Under both measures Ireland is less unequal than the OECD average. Data is for 2010 except for 2009 data from Hungary, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and Turkey, and 2011 data from Chile.
The OECD dataset also includes a gini-coefficient for direct income (i.e. household income prior to taxes and transfers). Direct income includes employee earnings, employer social insurance contributions, self-employed earnings and other direct income. There is no data for Hungary, Mexico or Turkey. The following chart has the most recent figures (mainly 2010) for this gini coefficient (most equal first).
For the 31 countries shown, Ireland has the highest level of inequality for direct income, and by some distance. The (2009) Irish figure is 0.591 compared to an arithmetic average for the sample of 0.470.
Charts showing the impact each country’s tax and transfer system has on the gini coefficient and the resulting gini coefficients for household disposable income are below the fold.
Ireland’s tax and transfer system has the biggest point-score impact on the income gini-coefficient which gives rise to the following set of gini-coefficients for household disposable income (with Ireland now placed 17th of the 31 countries in the initial chart).