This paper analyses income distribution changes in New Zealand between 1983 and 1998. We use a semi-parametric kernel density approach and a range of inequality summary measures to assess the distributional effects of changes in five sets of factors: household structure, National Superannuation (old age pension), socio-demographic attributes, employment outcomes, and "economic returns" to such attributes and employment outcomes.
Changes in household structure and attributes are the main factors contributing to the rise in inequality. Employment changes and changing returns had a more modest impact. The results are qualitatively robust to a variety of equivalization, income, and weighting measures.
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Hyslop, Dean and David C. Maré. 2005. "Understanding New Zealand's Changing Income Distribution 1983-98: A Semiparametric Analysis," Economica, 72:3, pp. 469-96.