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The ageing society and economic inequality

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses some general data on inequality and the various causes of a growing disparity in personal incomes. It considers the impact of changes in the wage system and the issue of consumption inequality. It is well known that, during the last 20 years, the degree of income inequality has substantially increased in the U.S. and the U.K. On the other hand, many of the countries of continental Europe, which have preserved equality of incomes by maintaining all kinds of restrictions on the labour market are suffering high rates of unemployment. Inequality in Japan is in fact increasing, but around half of the increase can be explained by the ageing factor. The baby-boom generation is typically affected by the collapse of the seniority wage system and company restructuring.

Keywords: ageing factor; baby-boom generation; income inequality; Japanese population; seniority wage system



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