giovedì 13 luglio 2017

Europe’s shrinking middle class | Eurofound

In the follow blog piece, originally posted on Social Europe, Carlos Vacas-Soriano and Enrique Fernández-Macías look at evolution of household disposable real income levels over the period 2004-2013, and the broader phenomenon on Europe's shrinking middle class.

The Great Recession depressed real income levels across European countries. But the impact was very unequal across countries and income groups. Countries in the European periphery have been more affected than those in the core, halting the process of income convergence between European countries that could be observed pre- crisis. Individuals at the bottom quintile of the income distribution have generally been more affected than their higher-income counterparts, resulting in growing income inequalities among many European countries and, what’s more, a shrinking middle class after years of expansion.

In a previous blog post, we showed how income inequalities increased in a majority of EU countries from the onset of the crisis, although often moderately. Here we focus on the evolution of household disposable real income levels over the period 2004-2013, revealing a generally stronger and more widespread impact of the crisis, especially among the less well-off. This points to the importance of using a wider set of indicators when assessing the impact of the Great Recession on living standards: these may be masked when relying solely on data on GDP or even Gini indices on income inequalities. (...)

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