Gini index fell everywhere in great depression, great recession, the 80s recession, and so on. Has this ever not been the case? Have any countries not seen inequality fall in recession?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Gini index of what? Wealth, income, or something else? $\endgroup$ – Giskard Sep 2 '19 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ Your first sentence is a claim and it seems dubious to me. Could you please back it up with some sources? $\endgroup$ – Giskard Sep 2 '19 at 6:46
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is an exact duplicate of a question that was closed in the past. $\endgroup$ – dismalscience Sep 4 '19 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ As Giskard hinted, the answer might even differ depending whether income or wealth inequality is considered. So I'm voting to close as unclear (or too broad). The OP is an unregistered account, so we're unlikely to see a clarification at this point... In fact there was an even more recent duplicate (by another similar account) that is even less clear... $\endgroup$ – SX welcomes ageist gossip Sep 15 '19 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ I wouldn't say this is off-topic, but I would say it is a bit too broad. The question could be answered by giving only one counterexample. This question wouldn't be fit for a research paper, but a question such as "Do recessions decrease inequality, and what are the mechanisms for that?" would. $\endgroup$ – ahorn Sep 29 '19 at 16:54

What you suggest can easily be rationalised, if those on fixed incomes (such as pensioners) tend to be poorer while those with economically sensitive incomes (such as workers and shareholders) tend to be richer and see their incomes more adversely affected by recessions.

But I am not convinced it is true in every case. The UK recession in 1980 may be an example, looking at this graph from the Office for National Statistics and I would expect there to be examples for other countries too.

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ If the political will exists, they can cut state pensions during a recession. Has happened in Eastern Europe in the 2009 recession. I'm not sure how inequality fared. In back-of-the-napkin theory, it depends how much pensions are cut vs how much the salaried workforce loses. $\endgroup$ – SX welcomes ageist gossip Sep 15 '19 at 14:28

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.