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Income inequality in the 21st century Poland

Bukowski, Pawel ORCID: 0000-0003-3795-6308, Chrostek, Paweł, Novokmet, Filip and Skawiński, Marek (2023) Income inequality in the 21st century Poland. III Working Papers (128). International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper combines micro-level tax data, household surveys and national accounts data to provide consistent series of income distribution in Poland over the 2000-2018 period. We find that inequalities in Poland are one of the largest in Europe. In 2018, the share of pretax and pre-transfer income accrued to the top 10% is 37.4%, to the next 40% is 41.1%, and to the bottom 50% is 21.5%. The top 1% earns 13.4% of the total income. The increase in income inequality during this period was largely driven by high business incomes in top income shares. The extent of redistribution in Poland is modest. The tax system is regressive at the top of the income distribution due to lower taxation of business income and the low burden of social contributions. Finally, we show that top income groups are dominated by business owners, males, and big city dwellers, and these groups have been the largest beneficiaries of Poland’s strong growth since 2000. Gender inequality has been high and stable in Poland, with a steeply decreasing female share with income rank (e.g. the share of females in top 0.1% group was 18% in 2018) .

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
H - Public Economics > H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue > H24 - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 16:06
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2024 00:02

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