IZA DP No. 6396: The Distribution of Full Income in Greece
published in: International Journal of Social Economics 2013, 40, 311-330
Non-cash incomes from either private or public sources can have substantial effects on the distribution of economic welfare. However, standard approaches to inequality measurement either neglect them or take into account only selected non-monetary items. Using data for Greece in the mid 2000s we show that it is possible to incorporate a comprehensive list of non-monetary components into the analysis of income inequality. The results indicate that inequality declines sharply when we move from the distribution of disposable monetary income to the distribution of full income, that includes both cash and non-cash incomes. Both private and public non-cash incomes are far more equally distributed than monetary income, but the inequality-reducing effect of publicly provided in-kind services is stronger. The structure of inequality changes when non-cash incomes are included in the concept of resources, but the effects are not dramatic. Non-cash incomes appear to accrue more heavily to younger and older individuals, thus reducing differences across age groups.